There are fewer than nine months left to get an updated ID before stragglers will be barred from commercial flights or visiting secure federal buildings.

Oct. 1 kicks off enforcement of the REAL ID requirements. Before then, anyone wanting to board a flight, access a military installation or go into a secure federal building will need to update their current state ID to a REAL ID-compliant one that features a gold star in the corner.

“Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 based on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to standardize government-issued identifications across the country,” said Julie Roy, chief of strategic communications and community affairs at the state DMV. “The REAL ID makes all U.S. territories in compliance with the federal act.”

The gold star on the ID is a sign that the cardholder has provided proof of a number of identifying documents. To buy a REAL ID, you’ll need to provide proof of identity such as a birth certificate or valid U.S. passport, proof of social security number, two proofs of current address and proof of any legal name changes. These documents have to be original or government-issued copies.

Veterans wanting to get the veteran designation will have to provide their discharge certificate.

Whether getting a driver’s license or an ID card with no driving privilege, the ID has an eight-year expiration and will cost $25.

“Our recommendation is not to wait,” Roy said. “Take advantage of seeing if you can get a REAL ID online. About 400,000 people should have received post cards indicating they may qualify to get a REAL ID online because all their documents are already on file.”

To check if you qualify to get your ID online, visit

Not everyone needs a REAL ID. The new IDs are only necessary to board a plane and visit secure federal buildings or military installations, although those things can also be done with a valid military ID or U.S. passport.

The state DMV is issuing about 68,000 REAL IDs a month and expects to have about 40% of residents with REAL IDs by the Oct. 1 enforcement date.

To read up on REAL ID and find info on your local DMV, visit

Contact staff writer Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.