Officials mark one year until Real ID deadline

NOW: Officials mark one year until Real ID deadline

MADISON (CBS 58) -- Wisconsin residents have one year to obtain a drivers' license or state ID that is compliant with Real ID regulations before that law goes into effect.

Without those compliant forms of identification, travelers may not be able to board a domestic flight starting October 1, 2020. 

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to set national security standards for state drivers' license and state ID cards in hopes of improving commercial aviation security after September 11, 2001.

These Real ID-compliant licenses and IDs are marked with a star symbol in the upper right-hand corner of Wisconsin cards. If you don't have a Real ID after October 1, 2020, people can still use a passport, military ID or other forms of TSA-accepted documents to board a domestic flight.

State officials say more Wisconsinites are getting the updated IDs but more progress is needed in order to avoid a scenario where thousands are not able to board a plane next year.

"Nearly 60 percent of our drivers' license holders are choosing to get a Real ID compliant product," DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman told reporters Tuesday at a news conference at Dane County Regional Airport. "But overall, in the state of Wisconsin, only 36 percent of Wisconsin customers hold a Real ID-compliant card."

Officials urged people to update their documents as soon as possible in order to avoid long lines at DMVs next year.

"We encourage travelers to prepare their paper work, to enroll in Real ID and visit a DMV when it is convenient before October 1, 2020," said Department of Transportation Secretary-designee Craig Thompson. "We want people to understand the consequences, however. If you delay you’ll join many other procrastinators at the DMV or worse you could miss your flight."

For more on obtaining a Real ID-compliant drivers' license or state ID, click here to visit the Department of Transportation website

Below is more information from the state DMV:

What documents are required to get a REAL ID?

To obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver license or ID card, individuals must visit a Wisconsin DMV and bring the following original documents or a certified copy (not a photocopy, fax or scan):

For a complete list of acceptable documents, visit

DMV’s interactive Driver Licensing Guide will help customers develop a personalized checklist of the required documents needed to bring to the DMV. It also allows customers to pre-fill any required application(s), print and bring the forms or submit them electronically (if eligible), and print a checklist of required documents to bring. 

Costs to get a REAL ID

If it’s time to renew a driver license or ID, DMV customers can receive a REAL ID-compliant card for no additional fee if the upgrade takes place at the same time as the renewal. Customers whose current driver license or ID will not expire before 2020, may obtain a REAL ID-compliant card for $14 (the cost of a duplicate driver license), or $16 for a duplicate ID card.

Wisconsin offers both REAL ID-compliant and non-compliant driver licenses and ID cards. The cards look similar; REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a µ. Non-compliant cards do not have the star or are marked “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES.”  People may use other forms of ID, such as a passport. TSA offers a list of acceptable alternative identification cards:

Wisconsin DMV has been offering REAL ID compliant driver licenses and IDs to customers since January 14, 2013. Since this time, nearly every Wisconsin customer has been given REAL ID information, and the opportunity to enroll in the federal program, as a part of their renewal notice. DMV is committed to helping residents who want the convenience of a REAL ID get one on their driver license or ID before the October 1, 2020 deadline.

Listen to DMV Administrator Kristina Boardman discuss the process for obtaining a REAL ID in WisDOT’s October “Transportation Connects Us” podcast  

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