Don’t miss an important meeting or family gathering, and don’t be that
person who makes everyone else wait in line.
Real IDs are set to become a new requirement in the security process for
flying in the United States, and if you don’t take the necessary steps to
prepare for the changes, you won’t be going anywhere. Starting Oct. 1,
2020, all travelers 18 years of age and older will be required to have a
Real ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of
identification, to fly in the United States. Minors do not need Real
ID-compliant identification as long as they are accompanied by a compliant
The Real ID Act was originally passed by Congress in 2005 following a
recommendation by the 9/11 Commission that the federal government increase
standards and security for identification. The legislation established new
regulations for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and
instructs federal agencies not to accept identification that does not meet
those standards for official purposes, such as at airport security
How Do I Get Real?
How do you know if your current driver’s license or identification card is
Real ID-compliant? Generally, compliant IDs have a star in the upper-right
hand corner of the card. If you’re still not sure, contact your state
driver’s license agency.
If you don’t have a Real ID, you still have time to get one before the Oct.
1, 2020 deadline, but you’ve got some work to do. Real IDs cannot be
obtained online or through the mail, so you’ll have to visit a Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office in person. When you do, bring the following:
A passport, birth certificate or another original certified document
that provides evidence of your identity
Two documents that provide proof of residency like a mortgage
statement, rental agreement or utility bill
A document that shows your Social Security number
Payment to cover the fee for the new driver’s license or identification
Additional documents may be required if you have changed your legal name.
Contact your local DMV before you make the trip to verify that you have
everything you need.
Starting Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers 18 years of age and older will have to
have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of
identification, to fly in the United States.
In addition to Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification
cards, the following documents are also acceptable for flying within the
U.S. passport or passport card
DHS trusted traveler cards (e.g., Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, and
U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
Permanent resident card
Border crossing card
DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
HSPD-12 PIV card
Foreign government-issued passport
Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs
Transportation worker identification credential
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card
U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
It is important to note that weapon permits and temporary driver’s licenses
are not acceptable forms of ID.
Avoid Missing Your Next Plane
Oct. 1, 2020, might seem like it is quite far in the future, but don’t
procrastinate in getting your Real ID. In the months leading up to the
deadline, DMV offices may be busier than usual as others scramble to get
their new driver’s licenses and identification cards, so you may not be
able to get an appointment for several weeks.
As of July 30, 2019, all but four states (Oregon, Oklahoma, New Jersey, and
Maine) and their state-issued identification forms are compliant with the
Real ID Act. Travelers living in a compliant state can continue to use
identification that is not Real ID-compliant until the Oct. 1 deadline.
However, if you are in a non-compliant state that has been granted an
extension to reach compliance, you can only use that type of ID until the
expiration date of that extension. Between the extension expiring and the
Oct. 1 deadline, you may need additional or alternative forms.