Montana REAL ID: What You Need to Know

As of May 3, 2023, your Montana driver’s license must be REAL ID-compliant to be considered a valid ID for a domestic flight.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
After May 3, 2023, you’ll only be able to use your
driver’s license to board a domestic flight if it adheres to the standards set by the 2005 REAL ID Act. 
Even though your license primarily shows that you’re legally allowed to drive, it also has an important secondary function: proving your identity. In Montana, your license must be upgraded to a REAL ID-compliant form of ID if you want to use it when you travel.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what REAL ID means—the
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What is REAL ID?

was passed in 2005. The act intended to establish better standards for identification documents—driver’s licenses included. Even though the act has been slow to roll out, it’s set to be in full force by 2023

Who needs a REAL ID?

A REAL ID will be required by May 3, 2023, in the following situations: 
  • Gaining access to a nuclear power plant
  • Entering some federal facilities
  • Boarding domestic flights and other federally-regulated flights
For most of us, we’ll only need a REAL ID-compliant license for the third situation. To keep using your Montana driver’s license as an ID for domestic flights, you have to make sure it’s REAL ID-compliant by 2023. 
You’re not required to use your driver’s license as ID. You can still use other identification documents like your passport to get on your plane. A full list of acceptable IDs is available on the
TSA website
Key Takeaway The REAL ID Act is scheduled to take effect in 2023. If you want to use your driver’s license to board a domestic flight, you’ll need to upgrade your license to be REAL ID-compliant.
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How to get a Montana REAL ID

To get a REAL ID in Montana, it’s recommended that you make an
appointment either by phone or online
. You can find all of the office locations in Montana
When you arrive at the license office, you’ll have to provide the following categories of documents to prove your identity: 
  • Full legal name and date of birth: such as a certified birth certificate
  • Proof of all name changes: including marriage certificates, court orders, etc.
  • Montana residency
    : such as a phone bill or school transcript
For a full list of accepted documents, head over
As of 2021, Montana charges one $25 flat fee to add REAL ID certification to your existing license. If you are having a new license issued, you may have to pay additional licensing fees. 
You are allowed to renew a REAL ID card online or by mail as long as you meet the eligibility requirements and do not have to change any of your personal information.

How to save money on car insurance in Montana

Now that you know everything about upgrading your Montana license, why not upgrade your
car insurance
as well? 
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To check if you need a REAL ID, you can use the
Department of Homeland Security’s website
. If you want to use your driver’s license to board domestic flights after May 3, 2023, you must have a REAL ID-compliant license.
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