As of OCTOBER 2020 you will need an Arizona REAL ID for Domestic Air Travel

passengers in airport

Following the events of 9/11, congress and the federal government sought to set standards for how identification documents such as driver’s licenses are issued. From those standards, the REAL ID Act was born and passed as law in 2005. This Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting those forms of identification that don’t meet the standards.

The Federal REAL ID Act Goes Into Effect

In compliance with this law, beginning October 2020, your standard driver’s license will no longer be accepted by the following places:

  • Airport security
  • Federal buildings
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Military facilities

While this new form of identification is voluntary, anyone 18 years of age or older won’t be able to travel via plane without obtaining one. However, the REAL ID Act will act as both your driver’s license and personal identification card. There are a few other forms of identification acceptable with the REAL ID Act, such as a Passport.

Getting Your Arizona REAL ID Only Requires a Few Steps

In order to obtain your Arizona REAL ID, you’ll need to follow a few steps. The process is very simple.

  1. You’ll need to make sure you have the originals of 4 documents.
  2. Proof of Legal Presence Documents that can provide proof of legal presence include a current passport or birth certificate. To obtain a certified copy of your Arizona birth certificate, visit the ADHS Bureau of Vital Records here.
  3. Proof of Social Security Number For proof of social security number, you can provide either your social security card, a W-2 form, 1099 or a recent pay stub with your full social security number on it.
  4. Proof of Residency To provide proof of residency, you will need to bring in two of the following documents or mail issued from a business, organization or government agency that contain your full name and physical residential address (not a PO Box)

For a complete list of valid documents you may bring to obtain your REAL ID, please check this list.

Getting Your REAL ID







After you’ve arrived at your nearest AZ Auto and get checked in, you’ll get your photo taken and a customer service representative will review all of your documents to ensure everything is in order. No appointment is necessary at Arizona Auto License Service and we are open evenings and Saturdays for your convenience. Your new, federally approved REAL ID with the “Gold Star” will arrive in the mail in approximately fifteen days.

Opting Out of the Federal REAL ID

Because this new form of identification is voluntary, you can opt out. However, if you do choose to opt out of receiving the new, REAL ID, your driver’s license will state: NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION. Which means that as of October 2020, you will not be able to use it as a valid form of ID for air travel.