REAL ID: Will you be ready when the final deadline comes?
We are only 11 months away from the planned implementation date (10/1/20) for REAL ID, which was passed by Congress in 2005 to enhance national security by creating minimum standards for government issued identification such as driver’s licenses. When the planned implementation date of October 1, 2020 arrives, all U.S. citizens over 18 years of age will need to present a REAL ID compliant form of identification to pass through TSA security screening checkpoints.
While a few states are still working toward compliance, most states are already offering REAL ID approved driver’s licenses. However, what travelers need to know is that many states are actually offering REAL ID compliant forms of identification along with traditional forms of identification. Traditional forms of identification won’t be accepted by TSA agents after Oct. 1, 2020. In most states, a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or state id has a star on the top part of the card.
There are a few reasons why states are still offering traditional identification, but State Department officials fear that many citizens who should be requesting the REAL ID compliant identifications are still choosing the traditional forms of identification because they are generally cheaper and don’t require additional documentation for issuance.
Anyone who plans to fly on commercial aircraft after 10/1/20 or may want to enter select federal facilities or nuclear power plants in the United States should be applying for a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or state id unless they plan on using one of the acceptable alternate forms of ID as listed below. Travelers are further advised to apply for their REAL ID compliant identification early, as long lines and possible delays for issuance are expected as we near the October, 2020 deadline.
Accepted forms of alternate ID include:
U.S. passport card
DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
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 Canada card
Transportation worker identification credential
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
For more information on REAL ID, please visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.