Delaware REAL ID: What You Need to Know

Starting in May 2023, you’ll need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to prove your identity to board a flight or enter federal facilities.
Written by Kevin Martinez
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
After May 3, 2023, you’ll need to have a
REAL ID-compliant ID or license to board a domestic flight or enter federal facilities as per the 2005 REAL ID Act.
Your driver’s license is more than just a piece of plastic. Not only does it grant you the authority to legally operate a vehicle, but it also serves as one of the most important pieces of identification that you can carry. Starting in May 2023, you’ll need to give your Delaware driver’s license a significant upgrade to become a REAL ID.
Before you rush to search what a REAL ID even is,
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What is a REAL ID?

After 9/11, the conversation on everyone’s mind was how we can create a better system that ensures and protects national security interests. As a result of these conversations—and following solid recommendations from the 9/11 Commission—Congress drafted and enacted the REAL ID ACT in 2005. This act strives to create a new standard for identification purposes across the country, including driver’s licenses.
While the enforcement of this law has been slow due to the world’s current events, the act is set to be codified and enforced starting in 2023.

Who needs a REAL ID?

Beginning on May 3, 2023, a state-issued REAL ID will be required across the country to gain entry to the following spaces:
  • Entry into some federal facilities, such as military bases.
  • Gain access to nuclear power plant facilities.
  • Boarding any commercial aircraft—especially for domestic flights.
While the first two may or may not affect you directly, chances are you’ll still want to get your license upgraded to avoid any future inconveniences. If you’re planning on using your license as proof of identification to board a domestic flight, however, after the Spring 2023 deadline, your regular license just won’t cut it.
But don’t panic just yet!—even if you don’t have a REAL ID, you can still travel by showing other acceptable forms of identification. Make sure to check out the
TSA’s website
to see what other forms of ID they will accept instead of a Driver’s license or ID.
Key Takeaway: The REAL ID Act aims to create a new nationwide standard on what legal forms of ID should be and is set to be enforced starting May 2023.

How to get a Delaware REAL ID

To change or obtain a Delaware REAL ID, you’ll want to do the following:
  •  Check out Delaware’s
    DMV’s online checklist
    to ensure you bring the proper documentation and payment forms.
  • Ensure that your documents are either original or certified copies. Photocopies will not be accepted.
  • Make an appointment by calling your local DMV office or using the online appointment portal.
  • Submit documentation and payment upon appointment time.
The fee of changing your standard non-federally verified license into a federally compliant REAL ID is $20. However, for a first-time license application, the price of a compliant driver’s license or ID and standard non-compliant ID or license will remain the same at $40.
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How to save money on car insurance in Delaware

By ensuring that your Delaware license is REAL ID compliant by the May 2023 deadline, you won’t have any issues getting on a domestic flight. Your car can also get you where you need to go, especially with the right
car insurance
to cover you in case of any bumps along the road.
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All you have to do is download the Jerry app and answer a few questions, and you’ll be on your way to saving big bucks on your car insurance, so you can get back out there and enjoy the ride—no matter where you go.
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The best way to determine whether or not you need a REAL ID is by checking out the Department of Homeland Security’s website, which provides a
list of acceptable forms of identification
. If you’re planning on boarding a domestic flight after May 2023, you’ll have to use a REAL-ID compliant license in lieu of your standard one.
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