REAL ID Act implementation and how it impacts U.S. military installation access

Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, are prohibited from recognizing driver’s licenses and identification cards that are deemed non-compliant according to the REAL ID Act.

UPDATE: Currently all states are compliant or have an approved extension in place. Kentucky has an extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Military Installations and Federal agencies to accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Kentucky at Federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until May 7, 2025.

Additional forms of identification that may be used in conjunction with a state driver’s license to request access to the installation are as follows:

  • United States Passport or United States Passport Card
  • PIV-I Card (Personnel Identification Verification-Interoperable) issued by the Federal Government
  • US Military ID (All Members of the US Armed Forces, including retires and Dependent ID card Holders and Veterans
  • Veteran Health Identification Card Issued by the US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • DHS "Trusted Traveler" Cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC)
  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
  • Driver's License Issued by the US Department of State
  • Border Crossing Card
  • US Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship (Form-550)
  • Permanent Resident Card/Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport with a temporary (I-551) stamp or temporary (I-551) printed notation on a machine readable immigrant visa
  • US Refugee travel Document to other travel document of Evidence of Immigration Status issued by the DHS containing a Photograph (permit to Re-Enter form I-327 and Refugee Travel Document Form I-571)
  • Employment authorization document that contains a photograph issued by the DHS (Form I-766) -In case of Nonimmigrant Alien Authorized to work for a specific employer incident to status, a Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A bearing same name as passport and containing an endorsement of the alien's nonimmigrant status, as long as the endorsement has not expired and proposed employment is not in conflict with restrictions or limitations identified on the form.
  • Identification Card Issued By Federal, State, or Local Government Agencies Provided It Contains a Photograph and Biographic Information such as Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Height, Eye Color, And Address.
  • U.S. Military or draft record (Certified copy of DD Form 214)
  • Native American Tribal Document
  • Foreign Government Issued Passport with Current Arrival-Departure Records (INS Form 94) Bearing Names as the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of an Aliens nonimmigrant status, it that Status authorizes the Alien to work for the employer
  • Select University, Library, or School Cards Containing a photograph, name and expiration date
  • Non-Government photo Identification with a person's name and address
  • Birth Certificate or Document with a person's full name and address
  • Utility Bill or Other Documentation showing a person's name and address
  • Vehicle Registration with name and address

Visitors requesting installation access who do not have a REAL ID Act-compliant form of identification and cannot provide supplemental identify-proofing documents must be escorted at all times while on a military installation by a DOD ID card holder.

For the most current information concerning state-by-state compliance with the REAL ID Act, please visit Those with questions about REAL ID should visit Those who are still uncertain whether they have the proper identification to enter Fort Knox should call (502) 624-7014/1713.

Individuals who possess a valid Department of Defense-issued ID card will not be affected in their ability to enter military installations.

(NOTE: The Real ID Act was enacted by Congress as a result of a 9/11 Commission recommendation that all state issued ID cards meet certain security and issuance standards. Implementation of the REAL ID Act requirements as it pertains to U.S. military installation access began in mid-January 2016.)