The most recent REAL ID deadline, and what New Jersey drivers need to do to get one

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New Jersey began issuing REAL ID driver’s licenses five years ago, and the original deadline to get one was October of 2020. But the deadline has since been extended three times.

The most recent deadline, established by the Department of Homeland Security, is May 7, 2025.

“REAL ID is not required in New Jersey, you are not mandated to get one, but if you typically use your driver’s license to fly you’ll probably want a Real ID,” said William Connolly, the press secretary for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Tracy Noble, the public affairs manager for AAA Club Alliance, agreed. She said getting a REAL ID license makes sense if people travel by air and don’t want to carry their passport as identification.

“If they are someone who is simply a driver and they don’t travel frequently and they have a passport, then that’s a personal choice, whether they want to go through the steps to get a REAL ID or not,” she said.

After May 7, 2025, if you don’t have a REAL ID you will need a passport to board a commercial flight or enter a federal building in the United States.

The Standard NJ driver’s license does not have a star. (N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission)

Connolly said to get a REAL ID you must make an appointment on the MVC website.

“REAL ID is currently available at all MVC licensing centers, we are also issuing REAL ID at a variety of mobile unit events,” he said. “And most of the appointments at the mobile events are also available by scheduling through our website.”

  • January 22, 2024
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