The deadline to get a Connecticut REAL ID has been extended yet again — Here's what you need to know

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On Dec. 5, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the deadline to get a REAL ID has been extended yet again. The extension is meant to allow all states the time needed to meet the new identification requirements.

Here is all you need to know about the REAL ID and when you will need to get one. 

What is a REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act was passed nationwide in 2005 as a post 9/11 piece of legislation, and it implements new minimum security standards to identification cards and driver's licenses. Some of these standards include "anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be," according to DHS.

When is the new deadline to get a REAL ID?

As of Dec. 5, the new deadline to get a REAL ID is May 7, 2025. The DHS extended the deadline 24 months, as the previous deadline to get a REAL ID was May 3, 2023.

Do I need a REAL ID?

Most Connecticut and U.S. residents will require a REAL ID. However the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reports a REAL ID is not needed if residents:

  • Have a gold star on their CT license or I.D. — a gold star means it is a REAL ID
  • Use a valid U.S. passport for domestic travel
  • Do not travel the country by plane
  • Do not visit any military bases or federal buildings

Residents will be able to fly domestically with a U.S. passport if they do not receive the REAL ID by the deadline. However, residents that wish to fly domestically without their passports or who do not have passports will need a REAL ID by May 7, 2025.

What happens if I do not get a REAL ID?

If you do require a REAL ID and do not receive one by the new deadline of May 7, 2025, you will not be permitted to fly in the United States (unless you have a valid U.S. passport). According to the Connecticut DMV, travelers without a REAL ID (or U.S. passport) will not be permitted through airport security checkpoints after May 7, 2025.

Where can I get a "REAL ID" in Connecticut?

Connecticut residents can apply for the REAL ID at any Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

What do I need to get a REAL ID?

To apply for a REAL ID, Connecticut residents will require two forms of identification, a Social Security Number and two forms of proof of Connecticut residency. The full list of accepted documents can be found on the DMV wesbite.