REAL ID Compliance Answers
In less than one year, travel identification used for domestic flights must be REAL ID compliant. You may be ready, depending on the state in which you live. But it never hurts to be 100% sure.
What’s the deal with REAL ID?
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 based on the recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to prevent fraudulent issuance and use of driver’s licenses and identification cards and to further ensure the safety and security of Americans. The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. It prohibits Federal agencies (like the TSA) from accepting licenses and ID cards that do not meet these standards.
The goal of REAL ID is to make the issuing and use of driver’s licenses and other state-issued ID cards are more secure and less prone to fraud.
When will this affect travelers?
The January 22, 2018 deadline is less than one year away. So on January 23, 2018, if you don’t have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license and are planning to fly from Dallas to Chicago, you’ll need to show an alternative form of acceptable ID to get through security. This can be:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
There are a few additional types of acceptable ID, and those are listed on the TSA’s website.
You won’t be allowed to pass through the security checkpoint, if you cannot provide alternative acceptable ID. Imagine the frustration this could cause if you get all the way at the airport, luggage in hand, only to be turned away for improper ID.
The next deadline to know is October 1, 2020. That’s when every domestic air traveler must show a REAL ID compliant license or another form of ID in order to fly.
What states have compliant IDs?
Most states are already issuing REAL ID compliant IDs. To check what your state is up to, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a color-coded map to make it easy. Green means the state is compliant, yellow means they got an extension to become compliant and red means they’re not compliant. Click on your state to find more details and deadlines.
If you aren’t sure if your ID is compliant, there are a few ways to tell. DHS recommends that states adopt a general design marking to show compliance. The initial recommendation is a gold star, but it can vary by color, lettering and/or format. Kentucky, for example, adds a white star in a gold circle in the upper right corner of compliant IDs. But Wisconsin got creative – some compliant IDs have a gold star and some have a black one.
I know you may have questions. No worries! Click here to contact a GetAway Travel Group travel consultant who is prepared to assist you and make sure your travel goes as planned, without any ID complications.