The original deadline to get your Arizona travel ID has long passed. But if you didn’t get your ID by October 1, 2020, don’t fret. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the deadline has actually been extended more than once, and the new deadline is May 3, 2023. That means you have quite a bit of extra time to get your ID. 

Still, it might be a good idea to head to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division and get it taken care of sooner rather than later. If you go now, you may have fewer crowds and a shorter wait at the MVD office — something that nobody has ever complained about!

Here’s how to prepare to get your travel ID:  

  • You must first complete the online application.
  • You must pay a fee of $25.
  • Make an appointment at the AZ MVD or an authorized third-party driver license office. If you’re headed to a third-party office, you can drop in without an appointment, and most are open Saturdays. 
  • You must bring original documents to supply proof of your identity; without these documents, you won’t be able to obtain your travel ID. These include your birth certificate or U.S. passport and your social security number (no document required). 
  • You’ll also be required to show proof of residency using two documents with your current address, such as a bank statement or utility bill. 

About the Arizona Travel ID

Many people wonder: Is it an Arizona driver license or ID — or both? 

The answer is it’s both. It’s a credential that serves as your license to drive, and that also complies with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. That act set minimum standards for sources of identification, and prohibits certain federal agencies (including the Travel and Safety Administration, or TSA) from accepting driver licenses that don’t meet these standards. 

Although you aren’t required to get a travel ID, if you fly domestically and use your current driver license or state identification card at TSA checkpoints, then you might prefer to get an ID. And if you need to renew your existing license, update your photo, or you’re getting an Arizona driver license for the first time, it might make sense for you to go with the travel ID option. 

Note that if you fly internationally, you’ll still be required to show a valid passport or the equivalent before you hop on that flight. 

How the new travel ID is different from a driver license

Although the ID is also a driver license, it does differ from a “regular” driver license in several important ways: 

  • It fulfills requirements for federally approved identification, meaning it’s a REAL ID-compliant license.  
  • To get one, you must present the additional proof of identification outlined above. 
  • It features an embedded gold star to show that you’ve provided that additional proof to the State of Arizona. 
  • It will be accepted at TSA airport security checkpoints for domestic travel after the deadline (your old driver license won’t be accepted).
  • It will be valid for eight years (in most cases). 

Opting out of a travel ID

You’re not required to obtain an Arizona Travel ID, but it’s good to know that if you get a regular driver license instead, it will have wording on it that states, “Not for federal identification.” Because of this, you won’t be allowed to use your regular license at airport security checkpoints after May 3, 2023. 

Are you hoping to get your Arizona driver license? Get the best driver education and training with Stop and Go Driving School. Get in touch to find out which class is best for you.