If you’ve recently renewed or replaced your driver’s license or ID, chances are you’ve heard of the new REAL ID program that Montana is implementing for domestic flights and federal building entry. In the state of Montana, May 3rd, 2023 will be the start date for airports and federal facilities requiring a REAL ID to get on domestic flights or enter federal buildings. While 2023 may seem like a long time away, it never hurts to get ahead of the game and get your REAL ID before it’s required. But how exactly do you get your new REAL ID? 

Infographic: How To Get Your Montana REAL ID

Step One: Learn about REAL ID and Requirements

First and foremost, understanding how REAL ID is different from your regular driver’s license is important. For a driver’s license or other standard ID, you only need to provide basic personal information, including your proof of identity, residency in Montana, and a driver’s test or proof of name change (if applicable). On the other hand, REAL IDs are intended to provide a more comprehensive form of identification, and obtaining one requires more proof of your identity – you will need to provide your social security number and documentation of all name changes, among other things. The reason for this is to help create a standard of identification across the United States in an effort to make fraudulent IDs more difficult to create. 

In order to apply for your Montana State REAL ID, you will need:

  • Proof of name, date of birth, and authorized presence 
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Two documents of Montana residency
  • Documentation of each and every name change 

Each of these documents must be original, valid, and unexpired. Learn more about which documents are acceptable on our What is REAL ID page. 

Step Two: Make your Appointment

The second step is arguably the easiest! With same-day and next-day appointments available at our 24th & King MVD Express location, you can skip the long lines and headaches of traditional MVD visits. Visit our location page to find us and make your appointment to get your REAL ID. If you have any questions about your appointment or your application, you can also reach out to our friendly, experienced MVD staff for assistance. 

Step Three: Gather your Identification Documents

Before your appointment, we at MVD Express recommend gathering your identification documents together in a secure file or envelope for safe and easy transportation and access. Double-check that you have originals or certified copies of your documents, and try not to bend or fold any items that need to be kept intact (notably your passport or other important certificates). Once you have arrived for your appointment, your REAL ID application process will be even more streamlined because you have all your documents ready to go! 

Step Four: Provide your Documents & Submit your Application

At MVD Express in Billings, our friendly and experienced staff are trained to help get you in and out quickly and efficiently so you can go about your life without the hassle and headache of traditional MVD office visits. Once you have arrived for your REAL ID appointment, your MVD Express representative will gather your documents and proof of identity, and walk you through the process of submitting your REAL ID application. If you have any questions during the process, please make sure to ask! Our staff members are trained in all MVD services and will be happy to help with any questions you may have. 

Step Five: Receive your REAL ID!

Once you’ve submitted your application, your REAL ID application will be processed and, if approved, you will receive your new Montana REAL ID! Because there are many variables in processing and printing, the amount of time it takes to receive your REAL ID card may change, so ask your MVD Express representative for an estimate or call us if you have any questions. Your new REAL ID card will replace your previous driver’s license or identification card, so you can safely dispose of your old card and utilize your REAL ID instead. 

At MVD Express, we value your time and prioritize convenience and customer satisfaction, which is why we provide fast, friendly service and easy-to-book appointments specifically for REAL ID applications. Our experienced staff knows the ins and outs of REAL ID, so contact us today with any questions or concerns about getting your new Montana REAL ID.