Why Are There No Real ID Appointments Available in NJ? And How Do I Get One?

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We want a real ID, mostly because it’s about to become a hassle not to have it; especially if you fly nationally and don’t want to bring your passport on every trip.

The problem is there are no appointments available for us common folk; someone’s getting a REAL ID, just not any of us. And they don't accept walk-ins but let us know what happens if you try.

In the hunt for REAL ID, two things become clear: 1. This may not be a winning battle, and 2. A passport isn’t that heavy anyway, right?

First of all, if you don’t plan on flying shortly before or after the May 3, 2023, deadline, then just wait. Don’t get a REAL ID this year if you don’t need it.

And don’t schedule an appointment more than three months ahead of your ID's expiration date, the MVC computer system won’t allow it.

However, don’t wait until the last minute. If you really need it, go [here] - this link shows which locations have available appointments. Try searching for appointments by monitoring that page and be willing to drive.

Where you can get a REAL ID in NJ, if you can grab an appointment. Screenshot, NJ Motor Vehicle Commission

Morristown residents, and all north Jerseyans, are struggling to find appointments, while in the south hundreds remain available in Salem and Rio Grande – so maybe a road trip?

Reminder: A passport still works, regardless of where you’re flying. And considering the struggle to grab a REAL ID, maybe carrying a passport when you fly domestically isn’t so bad.

Important: You don’t have to stay up all night for an open appointment. Last year, come December, the MVC started adding new appointments to the website at 7:00 am to counter the idea that you had to wait until midnight.

What I’m really saying is there’s no best time to look, just look often and throughout the day, if you can.

Last thing: Make sure you bring all the required materials. When you finally get there, be prepared, and walk away with a REAL ID.



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