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08/27/2019 08:47 AM

Does Your License Fly? Time to get a REAL-ID

The North Dakota Department of Transportation would like to remind North Dakota citizens that the deadline for obtaining a REAL-ID is drawing near. Beginning in October of 2020, you will be required to present a REAL-ID compliant identification or another acceptable form of identification such as a valid passport, to fly within the United States.

REAL-ID is a federal mandate to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. REAL-ID compliant licenses are marked by a star on the top of the card and allows a North Dakota resident to use their driver’s license as a form of identification to complete domestic airline travel and access a federal facility such as a federal courthouse or airbase.

To get a REAL-ID, citizens must visit a North Dakota Driver’s License office in person. When getting a REAL-ID, you will need to bring specific documents to prove residency, identification, and Social Security. More information about REAL-ID along with a list of acceptable documents is available at Please note that if your current name is different from the name on your identity document, you will need to bring additional proof of your legal name.

There is an Opt-in Opt-out feature that allows you a choice in obtaining a REAL-ID driver’s license, but remember, if you Opt-out you will not be able to fly domestically as of October 2020 without these acceptable credentials. “Not having a REAL-ID could cause some serious issues if you have to fly on the spur-of-the-moment or unexpectedly in the case of an emergency,” says Brad Schaffer, Director of the Driver’s License Division, “You certainly don’t want to wind up at the airport with a ticket in hand and be turned away because you do not have the proper identification.”

People are encouraged to make an online appointment at for their REAL ID Driver’s License to avoid waiting in line. Appointments are available at Driver’s License offices in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Williston, Minot, and Dickinson. Also please make sure to have all the necessary documents in hand before visiting your Driver’s License office.

If you have questions about REAL ID, please visit our website at or calling NDDOT’s toll free number at 1-855-NDROADS (637-6237).

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