Abogado Habla Español
Cambie Lenguage a Español

A Lawyer Explains: The U.S. Real ID

Legal Disclosure: The content on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Reading the content on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Crescent Law, PLLC. Please be aware that every case is unique, and the information on this website may not apply to your particular situation. Thank you for visiting our website, and please feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation to review your case.  


Welcome back to my blog series, "A Lawyer Explains," where I explain different immigration topics and provide general immigration-related information. In this blog, we will explore REAL ID and provide you with an overview.   

What is REAL ID?

REAL ID is a federal law that was enacted in 2005 by Congress in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. REAL ID established requirements that driver's licenses and identification cards issued by U.S. states and territories include certain security features. REAL ID was originally intended to take effect in 2008; however, for various reasons, most recently the Covid-19 pandemic, the deadline for compliance continued to get extended. The most current deadline for individuals 18 years of age and older to transition their IDs to meet the REAL ID standards is May 7, 2025.   

Why do I need a REAL ID?

REAL ID ushers in a new era of security for state-issued identification. By May 7, 2025, a REAL ID-compliant document is essential for air travel and access to federal facilities. Crescent Law can provide you with comprehensive assistance to ensure your identification meets these enhanced standards. 

You may already have A REAL ID Compliant Document

The identifications below fulfill REAL ID requirements to board domestic flights:


See the full list of documents accepted for air travel:

Standard driver licenses and ID cards

Washington State will continue to offer standard driver licenses and ID cards that can be used by Washington residents to drive or as identification. They do not, however, indicate a person's residency or legal status, and effective May 7, 2025, they will no longer be accepted as valid forms of ID for boarding domestic flights.

Enhanced driver's license (EDL) and enhanced identification (EID)

An EDL or EID is a form of identification with enhanced security features that confirms proof of identity AND proof of citizenship. An EDL and an EID meet federal requirements under REAL ID. They are approved alternatives to a passport or passport card for re-entry into the U.S. at land and sea borders between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.

Who is eligible for an EDL or EID?

You must be a U.S. citizen and provide a Social Security number, proof of citizenship, proof of identity, and proof of Washington State residency to obtain an EDL or EID card.  

Do I have to get an EDL or EID?

If you don't plan to fly domestically or already have acceptable identity documents, you may not need an EDL or EID. A standard license will continue to permit you to drive, and your standard ID will continue to serve as a valid form of identification within the state.

Closing Thoughts

As the REAL ID deadline approaches, Crescent Law in Tukwila can assist you with any questions you may have about this process. For personalized guidance on REAL ID or other immigration matters, please contact Myrna Luna at Crescent Law today to schedule your free consultation.