What documents do I need to apply for a license with Real ID in Florida?

In addition to other benefits, Real ID licenses can be used as a form of identification to board domestic flights.

Burin P / Shutterstock

Throughout the United States, Real ID licenses represent a strategy to improve security around the privilege to drive. Like enhanced licenses—already issued in states like Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington—these licenses are backed by proof of identity and residency.

Real ID licenses have certain markings in their design that allow authorities to identify their nature: they are usually characterized by having a star in the upper right corner that, in some states, can be replaced by another figure. Such is the case in California, where they have the image of a grizzly bear with a star on its body. Basically, these markings function as an indicator that their bearer may have privileges other than driving. These privileges include access to federal, military and nuclear facilities and the possibility of boarding national flights with this document.

Photo of a Kansas license with Real ID
When a star appears in the upper right corner of the license, it indicates that its bearer has Real ID privileges.

In the state of Florida, these licenses —like any other— are processed at the offices of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV, for its acronym in English) and require certain specific documents to carry out the process.

What documents are necessary to process a driver’s license with Real ID in Florida?

In the state of Florida, as in the rest of the states, applicants for a license with Real ID must collect a series of documents before carrying out the application process. The number of documents, as well as their nature, are determined by the immigration status of the applicant, being different for those who are not citizens. The precautions for each case are detailed below, according to the information shared by the FLHSMV on its official website:

For citizens:

1. Valid and Unexpired US Passport
2. Original or certified copy of a birth certificate
3. Consular Report of Birth Abroad
4. Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS
5. Certificate of citizenship

If the current name and the name on the primary identity document are different, the applicant must also provide:

1. Court Ordered Name Change Document
2. Marriage certificate, issued by the courts and/or
3. Divorce decree, issued by the courts

For non-citizens:

1. Valid and unexpired Permanent Resident Card – I-551 for Lawful Permanent Residents
2. Valid passport for non-immigrants, except for asylum seekers and refugees
3. Other government-issued document showing your full name
4. Department of Homeland Security document showing proof of lawful presence
5. If your name has changed by marriage/divorce, you must change your name on your Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) documents.

For citizens and non-citizens:

1. Social Security card or proof of your Social Security number. The applicant will find a list of documents that provide proof of Social Security Number (SSN) on the official website of the FLHSMV.

2. Two (2) documents showing your primary residence. A list of these types of documents can be found on the official website of the FLHSMV.

You may also like:
– How to apply for a Real ID license in California
– What documents are considered acceptable to prove your identity in regular procedures before the New York DMV
– What are the modalities to renew the driver’s license in Florida

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