Many North Dakota driver’s licenses will soon sport a new feature: A gold star in the upper right hand corner, indicating the card meets the federal REAL ID Act standards for personal identification.
In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which set standards for “proof of identity” in state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards.
The standards are a set of acceptable, official documents that can be used to prove a person’s identity and legal residence.
In 2017, the North Dakota Legislature adopted the standards and, today, the North Dakota Department of Transportation is implementing the standards to issue REAL ID conforming driver’s licenses.
You are not required to get a REAL ID license — it is a choice.
However, without a REAL ID license, you won’t be able to use your standard driver’s license as a form of acceptable identification to board domestic plane flights, enter federal buildings or enter U.S. military installations..
Licenses that conform to the REAL ID Act will have a gold star in the upper right hand corner. Licenses that do not conform will not have the star.
In North Dakota, your regular driver’s license will continue to be accepted as identification for flights and access to federal facilities until October 2020. After that, you’ll need a REAL ID license.
Right now, you can only get a REAL ID driver’s license through the Bismarck office of the state Department of Transportation..
However, all the other offices around North Dakota will be able to issue REAL ID licenses by June 1.
More information on the REAL ID program in the state is available from the North Dakota Department of Transportation Web site.
You can also review what documents you’ll need to present before you can be issued a REAL ID driver’s license.
You’ll need to make an appointment to renew or update your driver’s license to a REAL ID one. You can book an appointment online here.