Skip to main content



The REAL ID Act is a law set up by the U.S. government that dictates specific requirements for US drivers licenses and ID cards in an effort to decrease the chance of terrorist activity.

By standardizing what U.S. drivers licenses and ID cards from all 50 states must entail, the goverment is making it more difficult for ID's to be duplicated and fake ID's to get through undetected. These strict requirements came into effect in 2005 in a continued effort to decrease terrorism in the US and set up precautionary ways to detect it earlier.

The REAL ID requires all licenses to include the following:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Primary address
  • Signature
  • A unique, identifying number
  • A front-facing photograph of the applicant

This act also changed the requirements/documentation to get a license or ID in any of the 50 states. Anybody possessing an ID which does not meet these requirements is subject to be denied by any Federal agency.

Related links:

Learn more about the government section.
Find out more data quality statistics.