What documents do I need to obtain a REAL ID-marked driver's license or ID card?
Regardless of whether you are a new applicant or current card holder, you must bring the same types of documents to get a REAL ID-marked card.
To help applicants identify and gather the required documents, use the Iowa DOT's Web application Prepare for Success. Simply answer a few questions and the system will create a customized list of documents you need to bring with you.
New applicants and current driver's license and ID card holders who want a REAL ID-marked card must present the required documents from each of these four categories.
- Identity and date of birth. You must present one of the documents listed below.)
- Lawful status in the United States. By providing one of the documents required for proof of identity and date of birth, you will also establish lawful status in the United States, provided the Iowa DOT is able to authenticate and verify the documents under existing and available verification systems.
- Social Security number. Present your Social Security card; or one of the following documents listed below.
- Iowa residency and current residential address. You must present two documents that include your name and current Iowa residential address that demonstrate residency in the state of Iowa. See examples of acceptable documents below.
Identity and date of birth: To document identity and date of birth, you must submit one of the following documents.
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. passport card
- Certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state of the United States. (“State” includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.) It must be a certified copy and have the stamp or raised seal of the issuing authority. A hospital-issued certificate is not acceptable. A certified birth certificate issued by Puerto Rico must be certified as being issued on or after July 1, 2010.
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545)
- Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550, N-570, or N-578)
- Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550, N-570, or N-578)
- Unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
- Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
- Record of Arrival and Departure (I-94) with attached photo and stamped “Temporary Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident”
- Record of Arrival and Departure (I-94) stamped “Refugee,” “Parolee,” or “Asylee”
- Unexpired foreign passport accompanied by the approved I-94 documenting the applicant's most recent admittance into the United States
- Valid foreign passport stamped “Processed for I-551”
- Permit to Reenter the United States (I-327)
- Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
Driver’s license personnel will determine if documents provided from this list are authentic, valid, and acceptable. Photocopies and faxes of documents will NOT be accepted.
Lawful status in the United States: The documents required for proof of identity and date of birth will also establish lawful status in the United States, provided the Iowa DOT is able to authenticate and verify the documents under existing and available verification systems.
The Iowa DOT uses a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program known as SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) to electronically verify immigration documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The Iowa DOT uses a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program, known as U.S. Passport Verification Service, to verify passports. In some instances, a secondary inquiry will be necessary to verify the document presented.
Social Security number (SSN): The Iowa DOT must verify your SSN. Your name and date of birth will be verified with the Social Security Administration at the time of your application, through Social Security Online Verification (SSOLV). To document your SSN, present one of the following documents that contain your current name.
- Your Social Security card
- W-2 form
- Social Security Administration Form 1099
- Non-Social Security Administration Form 1099
- Pay stub with your name and Social Security number on it
Again, photocopies and faxes of these documents will NOT be accepted.
If you are a temporary foreign national not authorized for employment, you do not have to document a SSN, but the Iowa DOT will verify your U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services number. Make sure you are not authorized for employment. If you are eligible for employment but do not have a SSN, you are required to obtain and present one.
The Iowa DOT will not issue a driver's license or ID card if the remaining status time is less than 30 days. The Iowa DOT will electronically verify your name, date of birth, and SSN with the Social Security Administration. Make sure your document is up to date and accurate to avoid delay.
If you need to correct or update information at the SSA, do so several days before you apply for a driver's license or ID card. For information on how to do this, visit www.ssa.gov. Your SSN will not be listed on your driver's license or ID card. The Iowa DOT will assign you a unique driver's license or ID number.
Iowa residency and current residential address: You must present two documents that include your current name and Iowa residential address. Examples of acceptable documents are listed below.
- An Iowa voter registration card.
- A valid Iowa vehicle registration certificate.
- Valid insurance card or certificate of coverage (life, health, auto, homeowner’s, or renter’s)
- Second valid insurance card or certificate of coverage (different than first)
- Utility hook up or bill (water, gas, electric, or garbage removal)
- Second utility hookup or bill (different than the first)
- Telephone hookup, service agreement or bill (landline or mobile)
- Statement from a financial institution (bank, credit union, or other financial institution)
- Second statement from a financial institution (different from the first)
- Personal check or deposit slip issued by a financial institution (you may mark this “VOID”)
- Credit, debit, or charge card statement
- Iowa residential mortgage, lease, or rental agreement (lease and rental agreements must include the landlord’s name and contact information)
- Application for homestead tax credit for Iowa residential property
- Application for military tax credit for Iowa residential property
- Valid real estate tax statement or receipt for Iowa residential property
- Pay stub or statement from your employer
- Your current school enrollment papers for an Iowa public or private school
- Current school enrollment papers for a dependent child in an Iowa public or private school
- A federal, State of Iowa, or local government document (such as a receipt, license, permit, assessment, professional or trade license, or other document)
- Second federal, State of Iowa, or local government document (different than the first)
- An envelope, box, postcard, or magazine that includes a postmark or stamped date
- Iowa driver's license or ID card that has not been expired for more than one year
Other items may be accepted subject to review and approval by Iowa licensing personnel.
The residential address you supply must be a street or highway address. It may not be a post office box. In areas where a number and street name have not been assigned, an address convention used by the U.S. Postal Service is acceptable. (You may use a post office box as your mailing address.)
If you are a minor (see below), the consent form signed by your parent, guardian, or custodian will establish your residence and residential address without additional documentation.