Tennessee State Library and Archives Provides Vital Records for REAL ID

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State Library and Archives is providing Tennesseans with documents needed to obtain a REAL ID.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 established new security standards for driver licenses and identification cards. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, Tennesseans will need a REAL ID license to board commercial flights within the United States, to access nuclear plants and some federal facilities, including military bases.

To apply for a REAL ID, Tennesseans will need to provide documentation proving their citizenship or legal presence, Social Security Number and Tennessee residency along with documentation to support any name change from the other documents at any Driver Services Center or participating county clerk.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is assisting applicants with this documentation by providing marriage, divorce and death records prior to 1970 and birth records prior to 1920. These records are essential for many people to prove name changes over the years.

“The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a trusted resource for Tennesseans when it comes to finding important records from their past,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “This assistance is another example of how our Library and Archives serves the myriad of needs of our state’s citizens.”

To order certified copies of birth, marriage, divorce or death records, patrons can visit the Tennessee State Library and Archives in person at 403 7th Avenue North in Nashville from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or call 615-741-2764.

“We’re experiencing a dramatic increase in requests for certified copies of marriage and divorce records,” said State Librarian and Archivist Chuck Sherrill. “Our patrons—both current Tennesseans and those who now live elsewhere—are delighted to discover that they can easily order the records they need.”

Anyone seeking birth records from 1920 to present, or marriage, divorce and death records from 1970 to present, should contact the Tennessee Office of Vital Records at tn.gov/health/.

Tennesseans are not required to get a REAL ID. Other forms of identification, including a passport, may be able to serve in the place of a REAL ID. To learn more about REAL ID, visit tnrealid.gov.