New Jersey rolling out Real ID program by appointment only

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Limited Real ID processing underway in NJ
Limited Real ID processing underway in NJ: as seen on Action News Mornings, September 19, 2019.

TRENTON, New Jersey -- New Jersey officials are rolling out the Real ID program, offering it by appointment only.

Starting October 1, 2020, either a Real ID or a valid passport will be required to board domestic commercial flights.

Residents are being urged to upgrade their driver's licenses soon if they plan on taking domestic flights.

PennDOT's Community Relations Coordinator Alexis Campbell answers questions on Real ID.

"As we promised in May of this year, we've made a number of changes to prepare for Real ID," New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said. "We added online services, replaced all of our servers, upgraded our payment systems and driver testing software, added hundreds of new employees, and streamlined our hours for better service."

The new "take-a-ticket" queuing system is now operational in 14 of the 39 Motor Vehicle agencies in the state and is scheduled to be in all agencies by December 1.

"Secure identification is an essential factor in the framework of our nation's security. The transition to Real ID will assist counterterrorism efforts, reduce identity fraud, and improve the security of New Jersey-issued driver licenses and non-driver IDs," said Jared M. Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. "Residents can use the new Real ID to access federal facilities and travel by plane throughout the United States."

Since the current standard New Jersey driver license will no longer be accepted as ID to fly as of 10/1/20, millions of New Jerseyans are expected to opt for the Real ID license.

Real ID is available only by appointment, to avoid long wait times.

To make an appointment, New Jersey residents can go to

Fulton advised New Jersey residents that if an agency near you is not yet issuing Real ID, you will not be able to make an appointment, but the MVC will email you as soon as Real ID is available in your area.

Click here for more information on Real ID if you live in New York.