Arizona REAL ID: What it is and How to Get One

After May 3, 2023, your Arizona driver’s license must be REAL ID-compliant to board domestic flights using this ID.
Written by Katherine Duffy
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Starting May 3, 2023, your
Arizona driver’s license
must comply with the 2005 REAL ID Act if you’d like to use your license to fly within the US. 
From buying alcohol to opening a bank account, your license is an important document in your day-to-day life. Ensuring that your Arizona driver's license is REAL ID-compliant is a big part of making sure this ID can be used for all kinds of things—namely, boarding a US domestic flight. 
So what’s a REAL ID anyways, and how can you make sure your driver’s license gets the upgrade?
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What is a REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 after 9/11, when national security was top of mind for many Americans. The Act aimed to set new minimum standards for issuing personal identification documents, including your driver’s license. 
The REAL ID Act will finally be enforced on May 3, 2023. This means certain federal agencies can only accept REAL IDs after this date. 

Who needs a REAL ID? 

It’s likely that many Americans will need a REAL ID to access certain services and facilities in the future. You’ll need a REAL ID to:
  • Enter a nuclear power plant
  • Gain access to some federal facilities
  • Board federally regulated commercial aircraft (including domestic flights)
While the first two may not be of concern for many people, upgrading your Arizona driver’s license to a REAL ID-compliant document is essential if you use it to fly domestically. 
If you choose not to update your license by the deadline, you can continue to use other identification documents to board a flight. Check out the
TSA website
for a full list of documents you’ll be able to use instead. 
Key Takeaway The REAL ID Act sets new standards for identification documents—it’s scheduled to take effect in 2023. You’ll need to upgrade your license if you want to board a flight with it.
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How to get an Arizona REAL ID 

Arizona’s REAL ID-compliant documents are called an Arizona Travel ID. Upgrading your Arizona license to an Arizona Travel ID is easy and straightforward. Follow these five simple steps:
  1. Use the Arizona government’s
    ADOT Travel ID Document Guide
    to gather all of the documents you’ll need to apply for a driver’s license Travel ID. Make sure all of your documents are originals or certified copies in English. 
  2. Complete the online Travel ID application through
    Arizona’s MVD website
  3. Schedule an
    in-person MVD Travel ID appointment
    or visit an
    Authorized Third Party Driver License office
    (most are open on Saturdays) to review your application and necessary documents. 
  4. At your in-person appointment, a service representative will take your photo and review your documents and online application. 
  5. Pay the $25 service fee once your application is approved. Your new Arizona driver’s license Travel ID will arrive in the mail within two weeks. 

How to save money on car insurance in Arizona 

While a REAL ID-compliant Arizona license allows you to board domestic flights after May 3, 2023, you can still travel anywhere in the country with your car, your regular license, and last but not least, the right insurance policy! 
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No, you can’t use your Arizona Travel Card or any other REAL ID-compliant document to board international flights. To travel internationally, you’ll still need a valid passport.
You need a REAL ID to access certain facilities and services, such as boarding a domestic flight if you’re planning on using your driver’s license as ID. You can check out the 
Department of Homeland Security’s website
to see if you’ll require a REAL ID.
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