North Carolina REAL ID
The federal government has outlined a more rigorous process for obtaining the type of identification cards that will be accepted for:
- Boarding a plane (even for domestic flights).
- Entering a nuclear power plant.
- Entering a federal facility.
Beginning on October 1, 2021, a standard North Carolina license will no longer satisfy the new requirements: The above tasks will require a REAL ID.
There are no additional costs to upgrade your license or state ID to a federally accepted REAL ID as long as you apply for your REAL ID within 6 months of the expiration date of your current ID.
North Carolina REAL IDs are marked with a star in the upper right-hand corner. Once you have a REAL ID, you can renew it the same way you would a standard license or ID card.
To obtain a North Carolina REAL ID for the first time, you’ll need to present documents at a Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driver licensing office.
North Carolina REAL ID Documents
To get a REAL ID for the first time in North Carolina, you’ll have to visit your local driver’s licensing office. Consider making an appointment to spend less time in line.
Visit the DMV and present*:
- Proof of identity and date of birth. This can be your:
- U.S. birth certificate.
- U.S. passport.
- Foreign passport with valid U.S. Visa and I-94 arrival/departure record.
- Proof of social security. Acceptable documents include your:
- Original social security card.
- 1099 or W-2 tax form with full name and social security number (SSN).
- Pay stub with full SSN.
- Proof of North Carolina residency (2 documents required). This may include your:
- Cable or utility bill.
- Mortgage or rental payment statement.
- Vehicle registration card.
- Proof of lawful U.S. residency (for non-U.S. citizens). This could be your:
- Foreign passport with a valid U.S. Visa and an I-94 arrival and departure record.
- Certificate of Naturalization.
- Valid employment authorization document.
- Proof of legal name change (if applicable). This may be your:
- Marriage certificate (signed by the issuing authority).
- Divorce decree.
- Payment for the driver’s license or ID fee.
NC REAL ID Fees
The cost of a North Carolina REAL ID is the same as a regular license or photo ID.
- NC non-commercial license for drivers between 18 and 65 years old: $44 (valid 8 years).
- NC non-commercial license for drivers under 18 and over 65 years old: $27.50 (valid 5 years).
- Photo ID card: $14.
- Commercial driver’s license (CDL): $21.50 per year.
- Duplicate license*: $14.
*This is the fee you’ll be charged if you upgrade to a REAL ID before your renewal period begins (renewal period starts 6 months before your license expires). Your license will NOT be renewed and your new card will expire on the same date as your current card.