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Your Alaska ID and License in the News

Real ID FAQ

What is REAL ID?
    Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established requirements for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification (ID) cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet the requirements.
What is Alaska’s status with REAL ID implementation?
    On May 19,2017, Governor Walker signed the REAL ID bill into law, for Alaska to receive a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extension through October 10, 2018. This means that federal agencies will continue to accept Alaska driver’s licenses and ID cards to enter federal facilities and military bases and to board commercial airplanes. DMV is currently developing and implementing the systems necessary to produce REAL ID compliant cards.

    Alaska will seek – and expects to receive – an additional extension as we work towards offering compliant cards beginning January 1, 2019.
Do I have to get a REAL ID?
    REAL ID is voluntary. Alaskans will have a choice between a standard (what we have now) or REAL ID compliant license or ID. Starting January 1, 2019, to meet federal regulations, all Alaska Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) will only be offered as a REAL ID compliant credential.
Do I need a REAL ID?
    Beginning in October 2020, non-compliant cards will no longer be valid identification to enter federal facilities, access military bases, and to board commercial airplanes. If you do not need access to those facilities, then you may not need a REAL ID. Additionally, you may already have another form of ID that is REAL ID compliant. These include a valid passport, a valid military ID, and some forms of tribal IDs.  TSA list available here.
What if I want a REAL ID and don’t live in a community with a DMV office?
    DMV understands that you may not have a DMV nearby.  We are working with community partners to increase access to DMV services, including REAL ID cards.  Mail in application details for standard (non-REAL ID) cards is available here.
Can I get a REAL ID today?
    Not quite, but soon. The Alaska laws authorizing issuance of REAL ID compliant cards take effect on January 1, 2019. DMV is working hard to make REAL ID available to the public as scheduled.
Can I still get on base and fly with my current license or ID?
    Yes, as long Alaska has an extension from DHS, federal agencies can continue to accept Alaska’s non-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards.

    Once Alaska achieves full REAL ID compliance, non-compliant cards can still be accepted through September 30, 2020.*

    Starting October 1, 2020, a REAL ID compliant license/ID card or another federally acceptable form of identification will be required to access federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, and board commercial aircraft.

    *Note: Many federal facilities such as military bases, may have limits on identification documents accepted for entrance. Please check with the federal facility or military base before you visit.
What are the benefits of a REAL ID compliant license or ID?
    Holders of compliant Alaska licenses and ID cards will be able to use them as identification to access federal buildings, including military installations, and board commercial, domestic flights* without additional documentation.  After September 2020, old style cards and standard cards marked “federal limits apply” will not be accepted for entrance to federal facilities/bases or commercial flights.
    *A U.S. passport book is required for international air travel.
If I have a non-commercial license or ID, do I have to get a REAL ID compliant license or ID card at renewal?
    REAL ID is voluntary for most Alaskans who will have a choice between a standard or REAL ID compliant license or ID. If you choose not to apply for a REAL ID compliant card, the in-person and online renewal process will remain the same as in previous years. Please check here for online renewal eligibility for standard cards. 

    In-person application is required for the first-time issuance of any REAL ID card type.
If I have a commercial driver’s license, do I have to get a REAL ID compliant CDL?
    Starting January 1, 2019, state law requires all new CDLs to be federally compliant. New means:
    • First ever CDL
    • Transferring an out of state CDL (even if you previously held an Alaska CDL)
    • Upgrade of an existing CDL
      • add/remove endorsements
      • add/remove restrictions
      • pursuing a higher class
    • Renewal of an existing CDL that will soon expire
    All standard CDL cards currently in circulation continue to be valid until they expire. However, this type of CDL can only be used for official federal purposes while Alaska has an extension from DHS and ends on the federal enforcement date of October 1, 2020. 

    Duplicates of a non-REAL ID CDL issued prior to January 2019 may still be issued to replace a lost CDL.  Current CDL holders may choose to get a REAL ID CDL any time after January 1, 2019 but are not required to do so until renewal. Duplicate means:
    • An exact copy of what was issued before the law change
    • A card reissued to update personal information not considered an upgrade or change to commercial privileges. For example:
      • change of name
      • change of address
      • addition or removal of general driving restrictions (e.g. restriction 1 – corrective lenses)
How do I apply for a REAL ID?
    The process is similar to Alaska’s current driver’s license/ID card application process, but with added requirements. All applicants for a compliant card, including current Alaska card holders, must apply in-person and provide DMV with source documentation, even if it was previously submitted:
    • Proof of Identity
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Permanent Residency, or other Lawful Status
    • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Proof of Name Change (if applicable)
    • 2 Documents Verifying Alaska Residency
    You can find a list of source documents that Alaska currently accepts for non-REAL ID cards on "What do I bring to the DMV?”
How do I know if I have all the right documents for REAL ID? Where can I order my documents?
What do the REAL ID compliant cards look like?
    Alaska’s cards have been completely redesigned to offer a more modern, secure and durable credential. Both standard and REAL ID cards will have the same design but will contain different markings. REAL ID cards will be marked with the REAL ID star on the top right corner.  Standard cards will not have the star and will be marked “Federal limits apply.”  The duration of all five-year card types will increase to eight years.

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How much will a REAL ID cost?
    Regular card fees, plus a $20 REAL ID Fee.  For example:
    • Driver’s license fee ($20) + REAL ID fee ($20) = $40 for a REAL ID license
    • Identification card fee ($15) + REAL ID fee ($20) = $35 for a REAL ID Identification card
    • CDL fee ($100) + REAL ID fee ($20) = $120 for a REAL ID CDL
    • Senior ID ($0) + REAL ID fee ($20) = $20 for a senior REAL ID
    *Remember, card validity is increasing to eight years 😊
What happens if I want a REAL ID card, but my license or ID expires before it’s available?
    You may apply for a standard license or ID and then re-apply for a REAL ID after January 1, 2019. DMV is crafting procedures to accommodate applicants whose licenses and ID cards expired and had to be issued or renewed in the six months preceding REAL ID card availability.
How many REAL ID cards can I have?
    Federal and state laws allow a person to hold only one REAL ID compliant card and only one driver’s license at any time. Alaska residents may simultaneously hold an Alaska Driver’s License and Alaska Identification card, but only one can be compliant. It is also permissible to hold identification cards issued by other states if only one is REAL ID compliant and the driver’s license is not REAL ID compliant. Issuance laws vary between states. While Alaska allows multiple credential types, many states do not. Issuance of an Alaska REAL ID license or ID card may trigger cancelation of other state’s identification cards per the laws of the issuing state.
Is REAL ID just a way to create a national database?
    No. REAL ID does NOT create a federal database of driver’s license information and does not create national identification cards. REAL ID is a set of national standards for issuing licenses and identification cards. Each jurisdiction continues to issue its own unique license, maintains its own records, and controls who gets access to those records and under what circumstances. The purpose of REAL ID is to make our identity documents more consistent and secure.
Will the card have a chip in it?
    No. REAL ID cards do not have a chip in them.

Revised 07/25/2018 3:46 PM

New License New Process

Alaska’s license has a new look and a new issuance process. When you obtain a new card you will receive a black and white temporary license or ID card over the counter that is valid for 60 days. The new, permanent card will be mailed to you and should arrive in approximately two weeks.

All of the newly designed cards include numerous security features to protect your identity and reduce fraud. Features include a newly designed mountain scene, a clear window in the shape of the state of Alaska, a ghost image of your photograph, a fine line pattern much like is seen on currency, and a snowflake laminate with a state seal hologram. It’s authentically Alaskan.

More information about new license

Revised 08/08/2016

TSA and Your Temporary ID

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) determined nationally that temporary licenses and IDs are not acceptable as stand-alone identification when traveling through TSA checkpoints. If you plan to be traveling while using your temporary ID, please be sure to bring a second form of ID to confirm your identity to avoid unnecessary delay at security.

Please refer to TSA’s website for acceptable ID's.

Revised 08/08/2016