In January 2019, Montanans will be able to pick a new optional driver's license that is compliant with REAL ID. Motor Vehicle Division Spokesman Levi Worts says REAL ID is a federal law that would prohibit access to domestic flights and federal buildings to those that don’t have the proper identification.

“After 9/11, the federal government decided that there were some security issues that needed to be standardized,” Worts said. “That is really what REAL ID is doing. It is making a standard process to ensure that everybody that is receiving a driver’s license or ID is authorized to be here in the first place and can prove without a doubt who they are.”

REAL ID compliant cards will look almost identical to other Montana driver’s licenses, but there will be a star in the corner. Worts went on to explain how folks can acquire this new identification.

“You have to schedule an appointment, but if you are renewing your license it is just as simple as scheduling a renewal,” Worts said. “When you go in you apply for the REAL ID specifically. If your license is not eligible for a renewal, you can still get the REAL ID, but it is a replacement instead of a renewal.”

According to Worts, a significant amount documents are required when applying for a REAL ID card. A full list of the information required is available right here.

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