Have you renewed your US driver’s license as a REAL ID yet? A friendly public service announcement for everyone who travels via air in the USA: On October 1, 2020, all air travelers in the US using a US driver’s license as a form of identification must ensure that it is REAL ID compliant to be able to fly within the United States.
A driver’s license that is REAL ID compliant will have a star at the top of the card. Those using a driver’s license as ID that isn’t REAL ID compliant will not be allowed to enter the TSA checkpoint nor to fly unless they have another valid form of identification (noted below).
While 47 out of 50 states are REAL ID compliant, only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID as of October 1, 2019, according to the Department of Homeland Security. DHS is working with all 56 states and territories to implement REAL ID and provide technical assistance.
Other forms of valid identification can be used to travel within the US, including state-issued “enhanced driver’s license” (EDL, issued in MI, VT, MN, NY), US military ID or valid passport, but those intending to use a US driver’s license must ensure it is REAL ID compliant by October 1, 2020.
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 based on the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation for the federal government to set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and “prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as airport security checkpoints,” according to the DHS website.
DHS recommends checking with local state driver’s license agencies on how to become REAL ID compliant. For more information, please visit: tsa.gov/real-id.