What to Know about the Montana REAL ID

Montana Real ID

By JONATHAN RIMMEL

Have you heard of the new Montana REAL ID? You have? Great. Do you know what it is and how to get one? I didn’t think so. Let’s dive into it and see what it’s all about.

What is it?

September 11 caused REAL ID’s creation. In that incident, the 19 hijackers used 30 state-issued IDs, which assisted them getting through security.

REAL ID is standardized across the nation for increased security by higher requirements for obtaining the license or ID. Montana licenses have already followed many of the requirements, which is why the only visible change is the inclusion of a gold star. If your license does not have the gold star in the upper-right corner, it is not a REAL ID.

Why get one?

You don’t need REAL ID compliant license in Montana. However, this form of identification will be required for all domestic flights and for accessing federal facilities, starting October 2020. You will still be able to use a passport or passport card.

Although you may already have a passport, it may be more convenient to just carry your REAL ID, since it’s likely with you most of the time anyway.

Keep in mind, a passport is still required for international flights and border crossings.

Since the requirements to prove who you are have increased with a REAL ID, they can also decrease the likelihood of a stolen identity (at least where an ID would be used).

How much will it cost?

The cost to acquire a Montana REAL ID depends on your situation. Here’s the breakdown:

First time Montana license: $50 plus fees

Change on a license close to expiring: $25 plus fees

Change on a license not close to expiring (more than 6 months): $50 plus fees.



Your required fees are calculated according to your specific situation at the website mtrealid.gov. I checked mine, and it added about another $10.

How do you get it?

To get one of the new Montana REAL IDs, you’ll have to set up an appointment with an authorized license station. Not all license stations can give you a REAL ID, so check mtrealid.gov for a list of stations that do.

What are the requirements?

To get a Montana REAL ID, you will need all of the following:

One document with proof of your real name and date of birth (driver’s license, Certified US birth certificate, US passport or permanent resident card)

One document with your social security number (w-2, unlamented social security card)

Two documents with proof of Montana residency (utility bill, vehicle registration, rental agreement)

One document with proof of name change if applicable (marriage license, certificate of citizenship, certificate of naturalization)

Set up an appointment at an authorized license station by visiting the website mt.sts-scheduler.com (you will be required to create a user account), or by calling 1-866-450-8034 during business hours.

For more detailed information visit mtrealid.gov. MSN