Deadline for federal REAL ID rule goes into effect May 2023

Published on Friday, May 13, 2022

CRANSTON, R.I. – The R.I. Division of Motor Vehicles wants Rhode Islanders to be aware that U.S. travelers must have a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card to board domestic air flights or enter certain federal facilities beginning in May 2023.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum federal security standards for license issuance and prohibits federal agencies from accepting, for certain purposes, driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards. Acceptable credentials can include a DMV-issued REAL ID driver’s license or ID, a valid passport, or other federal identification credential. Since beginning its REAL ID service in December 2018, the DMV has issued 285,251 REAL ID credentials amounting to 34 percent of active state driver’s licenses and IDs.

Obtaining a REAL ID credential requires a visit to a Division of Motor Vehicles branch or, if you are a member, to a Rhode Island AAA office. The DMV encourages customers who seek a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to make an appointment at one of its offices to secure this credential before the federal requirement takes effect May 3, 2023.  All DMV service is by appointment. To make a reservation, or to find answers to common questions about REAL ID and to see document requirements, visit


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Rhode Island REAL ID license