Florida REAL ID: What You Need to Know

Beginning in May 2023, you’ll need to have 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
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Beginning May 3, 2023, you’ll need to have a
REAL ID to board a domestic flight or enter federal facilities due to the 2005 REAL ID act.
Your driver’s license can do more than just the obvious. Sure, it grants you the authority to legally operate a vehicle, but it also serves as one of the most commonly used forms of identification out there. Effective in May 2023, your Florida driver’s license—if it hasn’t already, will need a bit of an upgrade to become a REAL ID-compliant form of ID.
Chances are, you’re probably confused by what a REAL ID even is. Here at
, the
car insurance
broker and comparison app, we know a thing or two about proper IDs and licenses. That’s is why we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the REAL ID laws and how to obtain one in Florida.
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What is a REAL ID?

In a post-9/11 world, national security conversations have mostly been around how we can better protect our national security interests. As a result, and following the recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed the REAL ID act in 2005. The act’s purpose is to create a new uniformed standard of identification across the country while giving the state the authority to make design-centric choices—this includes driver’s licenses.
Although the enforcement of the law has been slow, the act is set to be officially put in place and legally enforced starting in the Spring of 2023

Who needs a REAL ID?

Effective on May 3, 2023, a state-issued REAL ID will be required across the country to gain entry to the following spaces:
  • Federal facilities, such as military bases.
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Boarding a commercial aircraft—including for domestic flights.
Chances are, unless you are required to have a REAL-ID compliant form of ID to gain entry into a government facility or nuclear power plant, these issues may not affect you. However, if you’re planning on boarding a domestic flight anytime after the May deadline, you’ll need to have a REAL-ID compliant form of ID to prove your identity.
No need to panic just yet; if you can’t get a REAL ID in time, you can still travel by showing other acceptable forms of identification. Be sure to look at the
TSA’s website
to see the other acceptable forms of ID accepted to board a plane domestically.
Key Takeaway: The REAL ID act strives to create a more uniform nationwide standard for legal forms of ID, which is set to be enforced in May 2023.

How to get a Florida REAL ID

To change or obtain a Florida REAL-ID, make sure to do the following steps:
  • Ensure you have all the proper documents at hand by using the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s
    online checklist
  • While not required, it’s best to make an appointment before an office visit.
  • At the appointment, submit all documentation and payment.
The fee for a REAL ID in Florida is $25. Since 2010, Florida has been issuing REAL ID-compliant credentials on all licenses. 
The best way to check to see if your license is federally compliant is by seeing if your license has a star on the card’s upper right corner. If it does, you’re in the clear. If it doesn’t, your license is still valid, but you won’t be able to use it if a REAL-ID is required, starting in 2023.

How to save money on car insurance in Florida

Once your Florida license is up-to-date and REAL-ID compliant, you’ll be ready to hit the road. Make sure you’ve got a great
car insurance
policy to go along with that brand-new license of yours! 
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