REAL ID is a federal law (P.L. 109-13) enacted in 2005 as Division B of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief Act. REAL ID sets minimum standards for the creation and issuance of state-issued identification documents by motor vehicle agencies. The Act specifies benchmarks that must be met by the compliance deadline of January 2013 if a state wishes to use its state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards for “federal purposes” such as boarding an aircraft and entering federal buildings.
Far before the consideration and enactment of REAL ID as federal law, AAMVA determined the need for a comprehensive framework of minimum requirements with enhanced recommendations to improve the quality, reliability, uniformity and security of the driver licensing process in North America. As a result, AAMVA compiled and produced its DL/ID Security Framework: A Package of Decisions Based on Best Practices, Standards, Specifications and Recommendations to Enhance Driver’s License Administration and Identification Security.