Texas REAL ID: What You Need to Know

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Starting on May 3, 2023, your Texas driver’s license must comply with the standards of the 2005 REAL ID Act if you wish to use it to board domestic flights.
Your driver’s license is also one of the most important identification documents you own, and not just because it proves you can legally drive. Now, your Texas license is due for an upgrade by 2023 to a REAL ID-compliant form of ID.
Confused about how to start the process? Licensed broker and
car insurance
is here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about getting a REAL ID-compliant Texas driver’s license—plus tips on how to save on your
Texas insurance costs

What is REAL ID?

was passed by Congress in 2005 at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. It was intended to establish new standards for ID documents—including driver’s licenses. Despite a slow rollout, the act will come into full effect in 2023.

Who needs a REAL ID?

Starting on May 3, 2023, you will need a REAL ID in order to:
  • Enter a nuclear power plant
  • Gain access to some federal facilities
  • Board federally regulated commercial aircraft (including domestic flights)
While most Americans don’t spend much time at federal facilities or nuclear power plants, a lot of us take domestic flights. So, if you plan to use your Texas license at TSA checkpoints in the future, make sure you upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant license before the deadline in May 2023
That said, if you don’t get a REAL ID-compliant license by the deadline, it doesn’t mean you can’t fly. You’ll just have to use a different document, like a passport, to prove your identity. A full list of valid identification documents is available on the
TSA website
Key Takeaway The REAL ID Act sets new standards for identification documents and is scheduled to take effect in 2023. 
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How to get a Texas REAL ID

To get a REAL ID in Texas, just follow these simple steps: 
In most cases, to renew and upgrade an ordinary driver’s license, you should expect to pay a fee of $33. However, the rates are lower for minors under the age of 18 ($16) or senior citizens over the age of 85 ($9). If you are renewing a motorcycle license or commercial driver’s license, or changing your address, you should expect additional fees as well.

How to save money on car insurance in Texas

With a REAL ID-compliant Texas license, you can board any domestic flight—and, of course, you’re still free to drive! Whether it’s a short trip to the airport or a cross-country adventure, you’ll want to make sure you have the right insurance. 
Thanks to comparison shopping genius
, the process is easier than ever. Just download our
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To check whether you need a REAL ID, reference the
Department of Homeland Security’s website
. After May 3, 2023, you will only be able to use your driver’s license to board domestic flights if it is REAL ID-compliant.
By Sara Brody
Updated on Jan 24, 2023
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett, Senior Editor.
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