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Government, Politics & Issues

How To Get A Real ID In Missouri — And Why You Might Need One

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Missouri Department of Revenue
Real ID-compliant driver's licenses have been available in Missouri since March.

Updated May 19 with new Real ID deadline

Like the rest of the country, Missourians will need to get Real IDs if they want to continue to use their licenses or other state identification cards to board domestic flights and enter federal buildings starting in May 2023.

The Biden administration has extended the nationwide Real ID requirement an extra two years past the original October 2021 deadline because of complications due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Missouri Department of Revenue is offering the new IDs at all state license offices to comply with security standards set by the Real ID Act of 2005. Real ID-compliant licenses have a gold star in the top right corner of the card.

After May 3, 2023, residents will need a Real ID or another approved form of identification to fly domestically, enter nuclear power plants and access federal buildings, like federal courthouses and military bases.

How do I get a Real ID license? 

Go to your DMV license office. Missourians must specifically request a Real ID, or they’ll receive a standard license.

What documents do I need? 

Applicants need to verify four things: identity, immigration status, social security number and Missouri residency. At minimum, the process requires four documents.

  • One document that shows their full legal name, like a certified birth certificate copy or U.S. passport. Some documents can be used to verify both identity and immigration status.
  • One document that proves their social security number, such as a social security card or W-2 form.
  • Two different documents that prove Missouri residency, such as a utility bill, canceled check or pay stub.

If someone has changed their name, they also must bring documents that verify former and current legal names.
The Department of Revenue has a full list of eligible documents and an interactive guide to help people determine what they need to bring.

Getting a Real ID driver’s license or nondriver’s license could cost between $3.50 to $45, depending on the applicant’s age and the duration of license.

What do I do if I’ve renewed my license since Real IDs became available, but I didn’t get a real ID? 

You can renew and upgrade your license. 

Normally, Missouri license offices charge a fee if you need a new license outside of the six-month period leading up to your license expiration. But the Department of Revenue is waiving the fee for people who are upgrading to a Real ID. You’ll still have to pay processing fees: $6 for a three-year license or $12 for a six-year license. 

Do I have to update my license?

No. Missouri law does not require residents to apply for a Real ID license. However, if you plan to fly, or visit federal courthouses or military bases, you will need to provide another accepted form of identification.

Airline travelers with noncompliant licenses can present a valid passport, passport card or other approved forms of identification.

When should I get the new ID? 

Joey Plaggenberg, director of Missouri’s Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division said in a statement that his department expects license offices to have longer wait times as people apply for the new IDs, which became available in March. Unless your ID is expiring, Plaggenberg recommends avoiding the lines and waiting until the rush subsides.

The Illinois Secretary of State's Office also is now issuing Real ID-compliant licenses.

Correction: The Illinois Secretary of State's Office issues Real ID-compliant licenses in Illinois. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated which office issues Real ID cards.

Follow Andy Tsubasa Field on Twitter:@AndyTsubasaF

Follow Kae Petrin on Twitter: @kmaepetrin

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Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.