(Real ID Act) The federal implementation of what is called the “Real ID,” has again been extended. Now, residents have until May 7th of year 2025 to obtain new identification. The new ID will be required to board a commercial airplane when traveling within the United States and to access military bases, including nuclear plants and some federal facilities.
Originally, the Real ID Act was established in 2005 to increase the security standards for driver licenses and identification cards. In Tennessee, it was scheduled to be fully active on October 1, 2020, but COVID pushed that date forward multiple times. The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus in the United States necessitated a delay in the original deadline. That deadline of 2020 was moved to 2021 and then to 2023. Now, Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro N. Mayorkas has extended the federal implementation date of REAL ID by an additional two years, to May 7, 2025. For more information on the extension, click here.
Again, beginning May 7, 2025, anyone boarding a U.S. commercial flight, entering a nuclear facility, military bases, or certain federal buildings must have a REAL ID-compliant license or acceptable identification. Tennesseans can find more information about REAL ID at www.tnrealid.gov or www.dhs.gov/real-id.
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The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 established new security standards for driver licenses and identification cards. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, Tennesseans will need a REAL ID license to board commercial flights within the United States, to access nuclear plants and some federal facilities, including military bases.
To apply for a REAL ID, Tennesseans will need to provide documentation proving their citizenship or legal presence, Social Security Number and Tennessee residency along with documentation to support any name change from the other documents at any Driver Services Center or participating county clerk.
The Tennessee State Library and Archives is assisting applicants with this documentation by providing marriage, divorce and death records prior to 1970 and birth records prior to 1920. These records are essential for many people to prove name changes over the years.
"The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a trusted resource for Tennesseans when it comes to finding important records from their past," said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. "This assistance is another example of how our Library and Archives serves the myriad of needs of our state's citizens."
To order certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce or death records, patrons can visit the Tennessee State Library and Archives in person at 403 7th Avenue North in Nashville from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or call 615-741-2764.
"We're experiencing a dramatic increase in requests for certified copies of marriage and divorce records," said State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill. "Our patrons--both current Tennesseans and those who now live elsewhere--are delighted to discover that they can easily order the records they need."
Anyone seeking birth records from 1920 to present, or marriage, divorce and death records from 1970 to present, should contact the Tennessee Office of Vital Records at tn.gov/health/.
Tennesseans are not required to get a REAL ID. Other forms of identification, including a passport, may be able to serve in the place of a REAL ID. To learn more about REAL ID, visit tnrealid.gov.