The REAL ID Act of 2005 established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, such as NIH, from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards that do not meet these standards as of October 1, 2020.
Common reasons to obtain REAL ID include:
1) You want to fly with only your state-issued ID (e.g., driver’s license)
2) You need to visit a secure facility, such as the NIH, and do not have a Personal Identity Verification
(PIV) card, passport or another approved ID.
Approved Forms of ID Required to Enter NIH Facilities on October 1, 2020
- REAL ID Driver’s License or State Identification Card
- Passport or Passport Card
- HSPD-12 or CAC Card
- Permanent Resident Card
- Federally Recognized Tribal-Issued Photo ID
- Canadian Provincial Driver's License or Indian and Norther Affiars Canada Card
Reasons you may not need a REAL ID include:
1) You only need your ID for purposes of identification and have another form of ID (e.g., PIV card
or Passport) for accessing federal facilities like NIH.
2) You do not mind bringing your passport along when you fly or visit federal facilities starting October
REAL ID was implemented by each state’s department of motor vehicles. As a result, driver’s licenses and the identification cards are not uniform in appearance across states. However, all REAL-ID-compliant state driver’s licenses will have a star imprinted in the upper right-hand corner to signify it is REAL ID-compliant.
Maryland and DC are requiring all individuals who are eligible for REAL ID- compliant documents to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card. Maryland and DC offer “limited use” credentials, which are not acceptable for flying domestically in the United States or for entering an NIH facility.
Virginia allows its residents the option to obtain a REAL ID-compliant credential, which can be used to enter an NIH facility. Virginia also allows a non-REAL ID-compliant credential for driver’s licenses or identification cards that are not acceptable for federal purposes. For more information on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant driver’s license, please visit your state’s DMV web site.