Real ID - What It Is and How It Impacts You

by Lisa on February 24, 2019

Signs have been posted in airports regarding REAL ID’s and people are starting to wonder what they are and if they have one.

Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.

So, what exactly is a “Real ID”?

Secure driver’s licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”

I haven’t gone to get my new Real ID license. Can I just fly domestic with my passport?

Residents of a state that has transitioned to issuing Real IDs have the option to go in and get a new, compliant license or use their passport when they fly. … But starting Oct. 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a Real ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of ID, for domestic air travel.

Does my state offer Real IDs?

Here’s a link to a list of all states currently in compliance and those currently under an extension.

How do I know if my license is Real ID compliant? I can’t remember if they had them when I renewed my license.

If it is REAL ID compliant, there will be a star in the top right corner; many drivers may not realize they already have one, since some states have been issuing them for a few years.

The New York Times published an article in January, 2018 that provides more information.

My state is compliant. How do I get my Real ID?

You will need to visit a local DMV office in person with the required identification requirements. For a list of those requirements, visit your state’s DMV website.

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