Topics on this page:
- What is a REAL ID?
- How do I get a REAL ID?
- Proof of Age and Identity
- Proof of Social Security
- Proof of Residential Address
Title II of the REAL ID Act of 2005 established minimum requirements for state issued identifications. If you have a state issued identification card (such as a driver’s license) that does not meet the REAL ID standards, you could be prevented from boarding a plane or visiting Federal facilities.
Beginning May 7, 2025, when using a driver’s license as photo identification to board a commercial flight, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will require that your license be a REAL ID compliant license. If you do not have a driver’s license or your license is not REAL ID compliant, TSA will also accept other valid forms of identification. To confirm whether your license is REAL ID compliant, use the myMVA Check Your REAL ID Status page.
Maryland is fully compliant with the REAL ID law. To get a REAL ID compliant driver’s license, you need to bring your documents in person to a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) branch. The MVA provides access to a Document Selector tool that walks you through a selection process to determine the documents you will need to present with your application for a REAL ID.
The MVA refers to the documentation you must present for your REAL ID as the “REAL ID Core Four.” The Core Four include documents in the following categories:
- Proof of Age
- Proof of Identity
- Proof of Social Security
- Proof of Residential Address
To obtain a REAL ID, you must present 1 document showing proof of your age, 1 document showing proof of Social Security, and two documents showing proof of your Maryland residency.
After you have assembled all of your documents, you must take them to the MVA and present them in person to get your REAL ID compliant driver’s license. Consider scheduling an appointment on the MVA’s website to reduce your wait time.
You must present one of the following documents to establish your age and identity:
- U.S. Birth Certificate (original or certified copy)
- U.S. Passport (valid or expired less than 5 years)
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (original or certified copy)
- Permanent Resident Card (valid, unexpired)
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Certificate of Citizenship
- Employment Authorization Documents (unexpired)
- Foreign Passport with current valid USCIS documentation
- U.S. or MD Birth Certificate for adopted individuals with Adoption Records/Certificate/Decree
- U.S. Adoption records with full name and date of birth
If you are over age 65, you can also use a military discharge document with full name and birth date or a Social Security Administration Benefits Summary and name and birth date. If you use a military discharge document or Social Security Benefits Summary, you must also provide one of the following:
- U.S. Hospital Birth Certificate displaying name and date of birth
- U.S. Baptismal Certificate displaying name and date of birth
- U.S. Census Record of birth displaying name and date of birth
- U.S. veteran I.D. card with name
If you are using a birth certificate and your name has changed, be sure to bring a marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order reflecting the name change.
If you are an immigrant and do not have valid U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documentation, you may use either an unexpired foreign passport, or an unexpired consular I.D. If you do not have one of those, you must bring two of the following:
- Foreign birth certificate
- National identification card or national voter card
- State license
- State identification card
- Foreign driver’s license
- U.S. Military Identification Car or Military Dependent Identification Card
- 1-766 Employment Authorization Card
- Certified School Record (DL-300) not more than 12 months old
You must present one of the following documents to prove you have a Social Security Number (SSN):
- Original Social Security Card
- W-2 Form (displaying your name and entire SSN)
- SSA-1099 (displaying your name and entire SSN)
- Non-SSA-1099 form (displaying your name and entire SSN)
- Pay stub displaying name and full SSN (not more than 3 months old)
- Document from SSA demonstrating non-work authorized status
If you do not have a SSN, you must present a letter from Social Security Administration demonstrating your ineligibility.
You must present two of the following documents to establish your Maryland residential address:
- Maryland vehicle registration card or title
- Vehicle insurance card or policy that includes your address
- Utility, telephone, or cable/satellite T.V. communications regarding account
- Checking, savings, financial account or collection agency communications
- Property tax bill or receipt
- Mortgage account statement, deed, communication from the State Department of Assessment and Taxation or other proof of home ownership
- Residential rental contract (apartment lease or other rental of real property)
- Mail or benefits statement from a federal, state or local government agency
- Copy of federal or M.D. income tax return filing
- Loan document from a bank or other financial institution
- Sales tax or business license
- U.S. College or University communications
- U.S. High School Report Card or U.S. High School Transcript
- Valid Maryland State issued professional license
- Credit card statement
- Residential service contract or delivery for services performed at the address of residence (ex: T.V. repair, lawn service, furniture delivery)
- Medical or Hospital Bill
- Voter registration card
- Selective Service Card
If you do not have two of those documents, you may qualify for one of these exceptions:
- An individual may certify residency for a spouse, parent, child or other dependent. (Satisfactory proof of identity, Maryland residency and proof of dependence or guardianship is required.)
- A letter from a nursing home, homeless shelter, transitional service provider, or half-way house verifying that they receive mail
- Order of parole, Order of Mandatory release, or statement signed within the application, by a Department of Public Safety Correctional Safety or Federal Bureau of Prisons official