Alaska REAL ID: What You Need to Know

Starting on May 3, 2023, anyone over the age of 18 in Alaska will need a REAL ID to use their driver’s license to board domestic flights.
Written by Ethan Moser
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
After May 3, 2023, anyone over the age of 18 in Alaska will need a REAL ID if they want to use their license or state ID to board US domestic flights—per the 2005 REAL ID Act. 
Some of us probably rarely take our driver’s licenses out of our wallets, but while that little card gives you permission to drive a car, it also has other functions that you might not know about. Most notably, you can use your driver’s license or DMV-issued ID card to board domestic US flights. This is about to change, however. As of May 3, 2023, Alaska residents will require an Alaska REAL ID-compliant driver’s license if they still want to use it as documentation for boarding their next flight.
If you’re not familiar with REAL ID, or just not sure where to start when it comes to getting one for yourself, don’t worry!
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What is REAL ID?

was ratified by the US Congress in 2005. The legislation was put forth by the 9/11 Commission to establish enhanced identification standards for US documents following the 9/11 tragedy.  It’s taken a while, but the requirement for REAL-ID-compliant driver’s licenses will go into effect nationwide on May 3, 2023

Who needs a REAL ID?

Starting on May 3, 2023, a REAL ID will be required to: 
  • Access military bases
  • Enter into some federal facilities
  • Board domestic US flights and other federally regulated commercial aircrafts
If you aren’t frequently visiting military bases or other federal facilities, you probably only have to worry about getting a REAL ID if you plan on flying within US borders. If you already use your Alaska driver’s license as identification for boarding domestic flights, you’ll need to upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant license before May 2023, especially if you don’t own a passport.
If, for some reason, you can’t get a REAL ID-compliant license, a full list of valid identification documents for boarding flights after the May 2023 cut-off for REAL ID is available on the
TSA website
Key Takeaway The REAL ID Act sets new standards for identification documents—and it’s scheduled to take effect in 2023. 
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How to get an Alaska REAL ID

To get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license in Alaska, you’ll have to make an in-person visit to your local Alaska DMV office. If they do not already have copies of your documentation on file, you’ll need to bring: 
  • Proof of identity 
  • Proof of US citizenship / lawful residence
  • Two documents verifying Alaska residency
A full list of what documents count as valid examples for these categories is available on the Alaska DMV’s

How to save money on car insurance in Alaska

While a REAL ID-compliant Alaska driver’s license will help you board domestic flights to the far reaches of the US in 2023, having reliable car insurance can help you explore the rest of the country safely starting right now!
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Acquiring a REAL ID may not be essential for all US travelers, but you can visit the
Department of Homeland Security’s website
to check whether you need a REAL ID. If you want to use your driver’s license to board domestic flights after May 3, 2023, you’ll need to have a REAL ID-compliant license.
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