By Dimitra Lavrakas
Senior Voice Travel Correspondent 

Federal deadline for a REAL ID is next year

Start now to find and fill out documents


April 1, 2022 | View PDF

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 cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet the requirements.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline to obtain a Real ID has been extended to May 3, 2023. At that time, your non-compliant card 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.

Alaska asks for these

State of Alaska law requires an applicant to provide true full name, which is the name that appears on your physical driver’s license or ID card. The Alaska DMV must electronically verify your identity, citizenship and lawful status with the issuer of the document(s). To avoid delay, make sure your documents are up to date and accurate.

In Alaska the fees for state identification cards and drivers licenses cost the regular card fees, plus a $20 REAL ID fee. 

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

Note: In Alaska you can renew your ID card up to one year prior to its expiration date. Your ID card will be valid for up to eight years expiring on your birthday or 90 days after your 21st birthday, whichever occurs first.

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.

Other documents may fly

You do not need a REAL ID to fly, although you will need a federally compliant ID. Here is the list of acceptable Transportation Security Administration identification: Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent); U.S. passport; U.S. passport card; Dept. of Homeland Security trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST); U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents; permanent resident card; border crossing card; state-issued Enhanced Driver’s License; an acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe; HSPD-12 PIV card; foreign government-issued passport; Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card; transportation worker identification credential; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766); U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential; Veteran Health Identification Card.

Finding the documents you need

Were you born in Alaska and need a copy of your birth certificate?

If you were born in Alaska, but don’t yet have a birth certificate on file, contact the Alaska Vital Records Office at 907-465-3391 or visit the website at

You will need:

Application for Delayed Birth

Documentary evidence that you were born in Alaska (school records, immunization records, or other similar documentation)

Birth Certificate Order form and $60

For a U.S. Passport or Passport card you can visit your nearest Post Office and fill out an application there or go to the U.S. Department of State website

For a U.S. State or Territory birth certificate, go to and see if you can go through this countrywide site.

For immigration status or citizenship documents go to

If you have any questions about the birth certificate request/application process, call 907-465-3391, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Alaska Time.

For the safety of all

For those of you who might be suspicious that REAL ID is just a way to create a national database. It is not.

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 state 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, and our country too.


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