Get a REAL ID

A REAL ID is a verified driver’s license or identification (ID) card that’s a federally accepted form of identification, sometimes referred to as a verified ID.

Get a REAL ID

A REAL ID is a verified driver’s license or identification (ID) card that’s a federally accepted form of identification, sometimes referred to as a verified ID.
Get your REAL ID before May 3, 2023

As of May 3, 2023, the U.S. federal government will require anyone who boards an airplane for domestic travel or who enters certain federal buildings to show one of these forms of ID:

  • A verified REAL ID license
  • A verified REAL ID state-issued ID card
  • A passport
  • Permanent resident card

A REAL ID is verified by a gold star in the top right corner of your license or ID card. Non-verified IDs don’t have a gold star.

real-id

Note: Per the REAL ID Modernization Act and DMV policy, individuals are no longer required to provide documentation of their Social Security Number when applying for a REAL ID. However, a Social Security card can still be used as part of identity verification—details below.

Get a REAL ID by appointment
Get your initial REAL ID with an in-person appointment. You must visit a DMV site in-person to get a REAL ID.
Apply for your REAL ID

Follow these steps to get a REAL ID:


Step 1:  Check your eligibility

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for a verified license or REAL ID card. Customers with a drive-only license aren’t eligible for a REAL ID license.

 

Step 2:  Gather what you need

Visit the REAL ID required documents checklist: English version (PDF) | Spanish version (PDF) REAL ID Document Checklist

In most cases, you need:

  • A U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate
  • A Social security card
  • Two pieces of mail from two different sources dated within 90 days to prove that you live in Connecticut
Step 3: Get your REAL ID

Schedule an appointment at any DMV office or partner office, like DMV Express. Visit locations and office hours to view DMV locations. View locations.

If you aren’t due for a license renewal and would like a REAL ID, you can request your driver’s license or ID for a $30 duplicate fee.
Your REAL ID arrives in the mail within 20 business days. For more on this, please visit Central Issuance.

Track the delivery of your new card.

 
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  • Frequently asked questions about the REAL ID program
  • What does a REAL ID do for me?
  • Am I eligible for a REAL ID?
  • What do I need to do to get a REAL ID?
  • What are the requirements for non-U.S. citizens?
  • Are verifications for a REAL ID gold star done at DMV offices and DMV express offices?
  • Can I get a verified license or ID card any time before my current one expires?
  • Do I have to get a gold star on my license or ID card?
  • Is my driver’s license still valid if I choose not to get a REAL ID?
  • Will my license or DMV-issued ID card show if I accept or reject REAL ID?
  • Can I use my U.S. passport at the airport instead of having this additional identity check done?
  • Does a drive-only license qualify for a verified, REAL ID license?
  • I have a gold star verified license. Do I need to bring additional proof of identity to a DMV service location for renewal?

Frequently asked questions about the REAL ID program

What is the REAL ID program?

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles renews driver’s licenses and DMV-issued ID cards based on federal REAL ID laws. This program stems from national security measures and federal identification standards set in place after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.

 

The REAL ID program also offers additional protection to residents against identity theft.  The same identity verification for federal and state standards requirements for new license and ID card applicants have been offered by the DMV since October 2011.This identity verification is a one-time review of original identity documents.


Does verification cost extra?

No. A driver’s license or ID card renewal is the same cost if your identity is verified or not.

 

These are the fees for licenses:

  • Regular license renewal for six years: $72
  • License renewal for eight years: $96
  • License renewal for those age 65 or over: $24
  • Commercial driver’s license renewal valid for four years: $70
  • DMV-issued ID cards valid for six years: $24
  • DMV-issued ID cards valid for eight years: $32

If you don’t need to renew a license and want to obtain a new verified license or REAL ID card, you’ll be charged a one-time $30 fee.

 

Important
To get a gold star on your license or ID when you renew, you need to get it according to these REAL ID verification requirements.

What does a REAL ID do for me?

A verified REAL ID driver’s license or DMV-issued ID card allows residents to fly on a domestic flight or enter certain federal buildings. A verified REAL ID is needed for these actions due to federal requirements that will take effect as of May 3, 2023.

 

The Connecticut DMV started offering this verification in October 2011 to allow ample renewal time for residents to become verified prior to May 2023.

Am I eligible for a REAL ID?

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible for a verified credential.

 

Citizens are subject to verification using the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE).

 

One of these forms of identification is required to verify: 

  • Valid U.S. passport
  • U.S. birth certificate
  • U.S. Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Permanent resident card

An Alien Registration Receipt card (Form I-151) is not considered an acceptable document and must be updated before any Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles credentials are issued.

What do I need to do to get a REAL ID?

1. Documents to verify your identity. Examples include:

  • An original birth certificate. If your name is different than what is printed on your birth certificate, another form of identification must be shown like an original marriage license, a divorce decree, adoption papers, or other legal documents. Note: Hospital-issued and Puerto Rico-issued documents prior to July 1, 2010, are no longer acceptable. A U.S. birth certificate with foreign place of birth must also be accompanied by a U.S. passport or passport card, or certificate of citizenship.
  • A Social Security card
  • Original papers that show permanent residency in the U.S.
  • In addition to the above documents, bring two pieces of mail that show your name and current mailing address

View the entire REAL ID document checklist: English version (PDF) | Spanish version (PDF)

2. Make an appointment at the DMV or partner office.

3. Your verified ID arrives in the mail in 20 days. Track the delivery of your new card.

What are the requirements for non-U.S. citizens?

Non-U.S. citizens need to show a permanent resident card or other legal presence documents that prove permanent residency.

Are verifications for a REAL ID gold star done at DMV offices and DMV express offices?

Yes. Identity verification checks are done at DMV hub and branch offices, as well as participating DMV  AAA offices and Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union locations.

 

Non-U.S. citizens must visit a DMV office. Learn more about specific location information.

Can I get a verified license or ID card any time before my current one expires?

Yes. A $30 duplicate fee applies.

Do I have to get a gold star on my license or ID card?

No. You can decline verification and just renew your current driver license or ID card.

Is my driver’s license still valid if I choose not to get a REAL ID?

Yes. You can renew your license and legally drive without verifying your ID. Without a REAL ID, your license doesn’t meet federal requirements for a verified ID, though.

Will my license or DMV-issued ID card show if I accept or reject REAL ID?

Yes. The new identity-checked driver licenses and DMV-issued ID cards have a gold star in the upper right-hand corner that indicate your ID is verified.

 

ID cards without an identity check are stamped “Not for Federal Identification” since they don’t meet the federal standard for identification.

Can I use my U.S. passport at the airport instead of having this additional identity check done?

Yes. A valid U.S. passport can also be used because existing federal standards are built into them. See additional documents, other than a license, ID card, or passport, that TSA will accept at the airport.

Does a drive-only license qualify for a verified, REAL ID license?

No. Under current law, a drive-only license does not qualify for a verified license/REAL ID.

I have a gold star verified license. Do I need to bring additional proof of identity to a DMV service location for renewal?

No. You don’t need to bring any additional documents to the DMV if there’s no changes needed to your license or ID (e.g., change in name or address).