UPDATE: Oklahoma will begin issuing RealID in some locations beginning July 1, 2020

11 Answers to Your Real ID Questions

So much talk about “Real ID” creates confusion about license requirements.

What is a Real ID?

What is the purpose of a Real ID?

How is a Real ID different from a CDL license?

What’s the difference between a Real ID and an Enhanced Driver’s License?

Can I still drive a commercial vehicle without a Real ID?

Do I need a Real ID if I have a passport?

How do I obtain a Real ID in Oklahoma?

Can I get a Real ID online?

Does my Real ID transfer with me when I move?

Will a standard driver’s license still work for identification?

Do I really need a Real ID?


We’ve compiled answers to these questions to put your mind at ease.


What is Real ID?

Real ID was born out of the 9/11 Commission Report following the attack on our nation on September 11, 2001. The Report concluded that terrorists used fake IDs to board commercial airplanes. Lack of consistent standards for issuing identification made identity fraud easy. In 2004, the Commissioner recommended that the federal government regulate identification documents. That led to the Real ID Act of 2005.

What is the purpose of a Real ID?

The Real ID Act of 2005 sets security standards for ID documents to prevent identity fraud.

Although the original deadline was October 1, 2020, that deadline has been pushed back due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Beginning October 1, 2021, a traditional driver’s license won’t allow you to fly within the U.S. It also won’t allow you to access some federal sites that make you show your ID before entering. These sites include commercial airlines and nuclear power plants.

How is a Real ID different from a CDL?

A standard driver’s license shows you know the rules of the road and you can handle a motor vehicle. A commercial driver’s license (CDL) shows you know how to operate commercial vehicles. It allows you to drive vehicles with a gross weight of more than 26,000 lbs. Real ID has nothing to do with your driving abilities. It’s simply a form of identification.

What’s the difference between a Real ID and an Enhanced Driver’s License?

Some states issue Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDLs) that meet the Real ID requirements. An EDL is basically a Real ID and regular driver’s license rolled into one. In Oklahoma, you may choose between a Real ID driver’s license/ID card and a non-compliant driver’s license/ID card. Remember, if you choose a traditional card, you still need another form of ID that meets federal standards if you want to board an airplane.

Can I still drive a commercial vehicle without a Real ID?

Yes, you can still drive a commercial vehicle. However, if you need access to federal facilities, your CDL won’t get you inside. Although a Real ID isn’t necessary for your work, it’s advisable to get one so you have it whenever you need it.

Do I need a Real ID if I have a passport?

No. Your passport is a federally issued identification document.

How do I obtain a Real ID in Oklahoma?

First, you must provide proof that you are a U.S. citizen or are legally allowed to be in the U.S. Proof can be:

  • Your U.S. birth certificate
  • A U.S. passport or passport card
  • An Employment Authorization Document
  • An unexpired foreign passport with affixed visa and approved I-94 form.

Second, you must provide proof of your Social Security number. This could be:

  • Your Social Security Card
  • A current W-2 or 1099 showing full Social Security number
  • A current pay stub showing full Social Security number
  • A non-SSA 1099 form.

Third, you must provide two documents proving your current Oklahoma address. Name and current address must be visible. Not accepted are junk mail, personal letters, or forwarded mail.

Fourth, proof of your signature is required. Your current driver’s license or ID are acceptable forms of proof.

Can I get a Real ID online?

Unfortunately, you can’t get your Real ID online.

Go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and be prepared to pay $43.50 for a Real ID card in Oklahoma.

  • Oklahoma City: 3600 N. Martin Luther King Ave; 728 E. I-240 Service Rd.
  • Tulsa Eastgate: 14002 E. 21st St
  • Broken Arrow: 1635 S. Main St.

Does my Real ID transfer with me when I move?

No. When you move to another state, you must get a new Real ID issued by your new state.

Will a standard driver’s license still work for identification?

In most cases, yes. You can still use your driver’s license to:

  • Vote or register to vote
  • Apply for federal benefits
  • Enter federal facilities that don’t require identification
  • Access health services,
  • Buy alcohol
  • Cash checks

Do I really need a Real ID?

In summary, truckers don’t need a Real ID to drive. The rest of us don’t need a Real ID unless we don’t have any other federally acceptable proof of our identity, such as a passport.

Click here for a full list of federally approved ID.


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