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Real ID takes effect on May 3, 2023 — are you in compliance?

A Real ID is not required in Arkansas until May of 2023, but what is it and why do you need it?

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Hundreds of thousands of Arkansans have yet to obtain a Real ID before the May 3, 2023 deadline.

A Real ID, which includes a gold star in the top right corner. will be required to travel nationally, enter a federal building, or military base. However, a passport is a valid identification for travel after May 3.

You can continue to use your "old" ID card after May 3, 2023, but it will only be accepted for state-related purposes such as driving (driver's license only), banking, and voting. It will not be accepted as identification for federal purposes.

"Very worst-case scenario would be you and the family show up for the dream family vacation only to try to board the plane to learn you can't because you don't have that Real ID," Scott Hardin said.

If you travel often or have to enter a federal building, it may be a good idea to go ahead and get one now.

"The number one issue or question we get asked is, 'What do I have to take to the revenue office to obtain this?'" Hardin said.

You need to have these proper documents before you go:

  • Proof of Legal Presence:
    • A passport, birth certificate
    • U.S. Visa with valid foreign passport
    • photo document from DHS, Certificate of Naturalization
    • Certificate of Citizenship
    • Resident Alien card/Permanent Resident Card 
  • One Proof of Social Security Number: 
    • Social Security Card
    • W-2 form
    • Form 1099
    • Paystub with the applicant’s name and FULL Social Security number 
  • Two Proofs of Residency: 
    • paycheck
    • Gas
    • water
    • electric
    • telephone (cell or landline) or a cable/internet bill
    • Account statement from a bank
    • Current valid homeowners
    • renters or motor vehicle insurance policy dated within 1 year 

"It is a thorough list of documents," Hardin said.

However, it is extremely common people show up without proper documents.

"It can be as simple as a name on a bill doesn't match up because someone is married or divorced. So in that case, you would have to bring the back-up documents, the marriage certificate, the divorce decree that justifies the name change," Hardin said.

You can go to any revenue office in Arkansas to obtain a Real ID.

Hardin said now is the best time to update your ID.

Credit: DFA

For more information on the proper documents, click here

Click here to take a short quiz that will help identify the documents needed to update your identification. All you have to do is answer a few brief questions and then you can print out what you will need when heading to your revenue office.


Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

Here are all the forms of ID that TSA says its agents will accept before boarding a flight after May 3, 2023:

  • Read ID
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

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