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Time is winding down to get a REAL ID-compliant license

Posted at 10:49 AM, Sep 30, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-22 06:32:17-05

2020 is here, and Michigan residents who want to fly or enter federal buildings this year will need to get a new driver's license or state ID card.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the government will not allow Michigan residents carrying a driver's license or ID card that does not comply with the REAL ID Act to board domestic flights, enter federal buildings, nuclear plants or military bases unless they have another accepted identity document.

The new licenses will feature a gold star in the upper right-hand corner or an American flag on Michigan Enhanced driver's licenses. There is no extra fee to get a REAL ID-compliant license.

If you have an enhanced license or state ID card, you already have a REAL ID-compliant card.

To get a new card, take your license and proof of your social security number and citizenship to a Michigan Secretary of State office. You can apply for a REAL ID-compliant license at any time, or you can wait until it's time to renew.

If you would like to learn how to get a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or ID card, click here .

The REAL ID Act was passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks and based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the act "sets document and security standards for the production and issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards, including the use of features to prevent illegal copying or altering. It also helps protect against fraud and misuse by requiring people to verify their identity, residency, Social Security number, and citizenship or legal presence when applying for a license or ID card."

Not all states have made the move to Real ID-complaint identification cards. Alaska, California, Oregon, Montana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maine are all states that have yet to make the switch.