North Dakota residents will need REAL ID-compliant identification to fly starting October 2020

Local Press Release
Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BISMARCK, North Dakota - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today reminded North Dakota residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight.

To determine if a North Dakota driver license is REAL ID-compliant, look for a small star inside a gold circle in the upper right-hand corner. The presence of the icon will indicate that the driver license is REAL ID-compliant.

Congress passed The REAL ID Act in 2005. It enacted a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that established minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses and identification cards. The Act further prohibited federal agencies, including the TSA, from accepting state-issued driver licenses or identification cards that do not meet the minimum standards.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight or gain access to secure federal facilities, including military bases, nuclear facilities and some federal offices. Now is the time for residents to plan ahead to ensure compliance with REAL ID requirements.

REAL ID is intended to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards while inhibiting the ability of terrorists and others to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

To get a REAL ID-compliant driver license, residents will need to make an in-person visit to a North Dakota driver license office. Appointments are available at the Fargo, Bismarck, Minot, Dickinson, Williston, and Grand Forks offices and can be made online.

The fee for a REAL ID-compliant driver license is the same as the fee for a non-compliant license. If you are renewing and keeping a non-compliant credential, it is $15; if you are renewing and upgrading to a REAL ID-compliant credential, it is $15. If you are getting a REAL ID-compliant license before your existing renewal date, the fee is $8.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation maintains a REAL ID checklist on its website: In order to apply for a REAL ID-compliant driver license, residents will need to provide:

  • Proof of legal residence in the United States
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of North Dakota residence

If the individual’s current name is different than the name on the identity documents due to marriage, divorce or other circumstance, additional proof of the legal name is required. More information is available on the NDDOT checklist.

North Dakota offers an Opt-in, Opt-out feature that allows residents a choice in obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver license. However, if you Opt-out, you will not be able to fly domestically with your North Dakota driver license as of Oct. 1, 2020.

TSA maintains a full list of acceptable forms of REAL ID-compliant identification at Some examples are a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card; Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler card; military ID including IDs issued to dependents; tribal identification card; and Transportation Worker Identification Credential. 

Signs are currently posted at airports nationwide reminding the public that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of identification will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. More information and Frequently Asked Questions on REAL ID can be found at