How to Remove Federal Limits Apply

How to Remove Federal Limits Apply. Have you ever glanced at your driver’s license or state ID and noticed the phrase “Federal Limits Apply” printed on it? If so, you’re not alone. This inscription indicates that your identification card, while valid within your state for driving purposes, may not be accepted for certain federal uses. But don’t worry! This introduction will guide you through understanding what “Federal Limits Apply” means and, more importantly, how you can potentially remove this restriction, if necessary.

In the following sections, we’ll explore the reasons behind this notification and the situations where it might cause inconvenience. We’ll also delve into the steps you can take to obtain an ID that meets federal requirements, granting you wider acceptance for specific purposes.

What Does “Federal Limits Apply” Mean?

This phrase simply indicates that the ID card is not compliant with the federal REAL ID Act. The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued identification documents. These IDs can then be used for certain federal purposes, such as boarding domestic flights or entering secure federal facilities.

Why Does My ID Have This Notation?

There are several reasons why your ID might not be REAL ID-compliant:

  • Citizenship Status: Not all residents qualify for a REAL ID. If you’re not a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may receive an ID with this notation.
  • Documentation Provided: The issuing agency might not have received the necessary documentation to verify your identity according to REAL ID standards.
  • State Issuance: Some states haven’t yet implemented REAL ID-compliant IDs.

Can I Remove “Federal Limits Apply”?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to remove the notation itself. However, depending on the reason for non-compliance, you might be able to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card:

  • Verify Citizenship: If citizenship documentation was the issue, gather the required documents (proof of citizenship, Social Security number) and apply for a new ID.
  • Check Documentation: Ensure you have all the necessary documents for REAL ID verification during your next renewal.
  • State Implementation: If your state hasn’t rolled out REAL ID, keep an eye out for updates from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Important Note: Even with “Federal Limits Apply,” your ID remains valid for driving within your state and for most everyday purposes. However, you’ll need a different form of identification, such as a passport, for federal purposes.

Obtaining a REAL ID-Compliant License or ID

The process varies slightly by state, but generally involves:

  1. Gathering Documents: Proof of identity (birth certificate, passport), Social Security number, residency (utility bills), and proof of your name (marriage certificate if applicable).
  2. Visiting Your Local DMV: Contact your Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to schedule an appointment or inquire about online applications (availability may vary).
  3. Paying Fees: There may be additional fees associated with obtaining a REAL ID.

Important Considerations

  • Non-U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: If you fall into this category, acquiring a Real ID might not be an option. Explore alternative identification solutions like a passport or consult with your local immigration office for guidance.
  • Upcoming Travel: If you have imminent travel plans, double-check the TSA’s website ( for the latest information on acceptable forms of ID.


Will “Federal Limits Apply” prevent me from flying domestically?

Currently (April 2024), you can still use your ID for domestic flights until May 7, 2025. After that date, a REAL ID-compliant ID, passport, or other approved documents will be mandatory.

What are the benefits of a REAL ID?

A REAL ID allows you to use your driver’s license or state ID for various federal purposes, eliminating the need to carry multiple forms of identification.

Where can I find more information about REAL ID?

For the latest updates and information about REAL ID, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID website:

By understanding the meaning of “Federal Limits Apply” and the REAL ID Act, you can make informed decisions about your identification needs. Remember, a non-REAL ID-compliant ID is still valid for most everyday purposes within your state.


By understanding “Federal Limits Apply” and taking action, you can ensure you have the proper identification for any situation. Whether you choose to obtain a Real ID or explore alternative options, this guide equips you with the knowledge and resources to navigate the process smoothly. Now, go forth and conquer your travels with confidence!

Scroll to Top