In less than one year, airline passengers flying domestically are required to present REAL ID as they pass through security or else get denied passage, thanks to new rules from the Department of Homeland Security.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, all airline passengers must present REAL ID-compliant identification at security. Other types of identification, like valid U.S. passports and U.S. Military ID cards, will also be accepted.
The regulation originally passed into law in 2005, when Congress passed the REAL ID Act. The act’s goal, by recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, is to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”
The entire country has been involved in achieving compliance on a state-by-state basis. In January 2017, just 26 states complied. Now, 47 states are compliant, and the remaining three already received the necessary extensions.
Frequent travelers have seen signs announcing the deadline in airports since April. This August, TSA agents began to tell passengers with non-compliant IDs about the upcoming deadline.
All REAL ID-compliant identification cards boast a star in the top-right corner of the card. If travelers don’t know whether their cards are compliant, they can check with state driver’s license agencies.
Each state has different procedures when it comes to qualifying for and receiving your REAL ID. Go to your state’s motor vehicle department to check your specific guidelines.
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