Skip to Main Content

Carter County/Elizabethton Driver Services Center is moving effective Monday, December 9, 2019
Self-Service Kiosks Unavailable for System Update Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. CST through Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 at 7:00 a.m. CST

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Reminds Tennesseans Federal Identification Requirements Change One Year From Today

REAL ID Act Goes Into Effect on October 1, 2020.
Tuesday, October 01, 2019 | 04:48pm

TENNESSEE –One year from today, the REAL ID Act of 2005 will go into effect.  Beginning October 1, 2020, all persons must have a REAL ID license for accessing certain Federal facilities, entering nuclear facilities, military bases, and boarding commercial flights within the United States. The REAL ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. 

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS) began issuing REAL IDs July 1, 2019 and has issued more than 156,601 REAL ID credentials to date.

Who needs a REAL ID?  Anyone who flies domestically within the United States, access a military base, or needs to enter a federal or nuclear facility after October 1, 2020 and plans to use a state-issued license or ID as a form of identification. 

Is a REAL ID the only form of identification that will be accepted?  A REAL ID is not the only form of identification that will be accepted. A passport or other acceptable alternative form of identification found here can be used in place of a REAL ID credential.

What documents are needed to apply for a REAL ID?  To apply for a REAL ID, customers will need to bring one proof of citizenship or legal presence, one proof of full Social Security Number, and two proofs of Tennessee residency along with documentation to support any name change from your proof of citizenship document.  A full list of accepted documents can be found here.

Where can you apply for a REAL ID?  The first application for a REAL ID must be made in person at a Driver Services Center or participating County Clerk Partner. Participating locations can be found on www.tnrealid.gov.

Do you have to have a REAL ID by October 1, 2020?  Tennesseans are strongly encouraged to apply for a REAL ID at least 20 days before needing to board a commercial flight within the United States, enter certain federal facilities, or enter nuclear facilities before the October 1, 2020 deadline. Your current state-issued license or ID will continue to be accepted until October 1, 2020 for these purposes.

How much is a REAL ID?  A REAL ID costs the same as a standard credential. However, if you wish to obtain a REAL ID outside of your renewal period, there will be a duplicate charge of $8-12.   

What if you don’t need a REAL ID?  Those who do not wish to obtain a REAL ID will receive a standard credential indicated by “Not For Federal Identification” on the front of the credential. Your current or standard credential will continue to be accepted for general identification purposes such as driving, purchasing alcohol or tobacco products, applying for federal benefits, vote, and access hospitals, post offices and federal courts.  

Where can I find more information about REAL ID? More information about Tennessee REAL ID can be found at www.tnrealid.gov.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

###