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Go to your wallet and pull out our Indiana driver’s license. Does it have a star in the upper right-hand corner? If not, then it may be time to take a trip to the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) to get a “Real ID.”

The Real ID Act passed in Indiana in 2010 but has been on the books at the federal level since 2005. Eric Feldman, Hoosiers will soon need Real ID to fly, August 18, 2017, (last accessed October 2, 2018). A Real ID is now required “for everyone applying for a new Indiana credential (driver’s license, learner’s permit, or identification card.).” Real ID Overview, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, (last accessed October 2, 2018). Indiana residents who are simply renewing, amending, or replacing their driver’s license may apply for a “non-compliant credential, but are encouraged to obtain a Real ID-compliant credential.” Real IDs will become important in the next few years, as beginning October 1, 2020, “a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, permit, or identification card will be required to board commercial airplanes,” take the Amtrak train, “or enter certain federal facilities” without a Homeland Security-approved document. Real ID Overview, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, (last accessed October 2, 2018); Eric Feldman, Hoosiers will soon need Real ID to fly, August 18, 2017, (last accessed October 2, 2018).

Applying for a Real ID is a relatively straightforward process, provided you have the appropriate documents and have never changed your name. I obtained a Real ID in under ten minutes without realizing what it even was. But for those who may be known by a name different than that on their birth certificate or passport, the process can be tricky.

The Indiana BMV website details the information you must bring with you to obtain a Real ID. If your legal name matches your identity document, then you must bring an unexpired U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, or Birth Certificate to establish your identity and your lawful status. You must also present one original document with your current legal name and Social Security number to establish your Social Security number. Additionally, you must present two original documents with your name and Indiana residential address to establish Indiana residency.

If your legal name does not match your driver’s license or identity card, then you must bring all of the documents identified above as well as proof of your name change. This could be your marriage license, divorce decree, certified amended birth certificate showing the change of gender, or court order granting a name change. If your legal name has changed multiple times since your last driver’s license or ID card was issued, then you must bring proof of every single name change.

Elizabeth (Libby) A. Klesmith, Litigator, Business Counsel, Tuesley Hall Konopa, LLP

Author: Elizabeth (Libby) A. Klesmith is a civil litigation and business attorney at Tuesley Hall Konopa, LLP. Her practice areas include real estate, insurance defense, and trademark law. She is licensed to practice in Indiana and Michigan

You can contact Libby by calling 574.232.3538 or email

Disclaimer: The THK Legal Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. In no case does the published material constitute an exhaustive legal study, and applicability to a particular situation depends upon an investigation of specific facts. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. All THK blogs are considered advertising material by the Indiana Bar Association.