A state must receive full REAL ID compliance approval from the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) before it can issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards.
This is a myth!
“The REAL ID Act actually requires states to begin issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards before they submit their compliance certifications to DHS,” explains Steve Yonkers, Director, Identity and Credentialing/REAL ID Program at DHS. Because of this, he says, DHS recommends that states submit draft materials for DHS review before they go live with REAL ID issuance. This reduces the risk of states issuing licenses and IDs that do not meet all REAL ID requirements.