As the year comes to a close, it is never too soon to understand the ever changing policies of air travel planning. One HUGE adjustment is REAL ID. I've gathered some important information from Susan Rowan Kelleher's article at TripSavvy.
In January 2018 the Department of Home Security (DHS) began implementing REAL ID enforcement at US airports. By October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID compliant license (or another acceptable form of ID such as a passport) for domestic air travel. While it is still over one and a half years away, it is valuable to understand the importance of your driver's licence being REAL ID approved.
REAL ID in a Nutshell
Until recently, some states had drivers licenses that were very easy to counterfeit. REAL ID is a more secure ID designed to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.
Do you currently need passports or REAL IDs to fly within the US?
For now, your state driver's license is still fine as an ID when you fly. In many states, you can already apply to get a compliant ID by visiting your local DMV.
What IDs are acceptable for flying within the US?
Until the DHS begins enforcing REAL IDs at US airports, the TSA will continue numerous forms of acceptable ID for air travel within the US, including: DMV-issued drivers licenses or other state photo ID cards, U.S. passports, U.S. passport cards, DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST), U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians), Permanent resident cards (green cards), Border crossing cards, DHS-designated enhanced driver's licenses, Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan), Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo IDs, HSPD-12 PIV cards, Foreign government-issued passports, Canadian provincial driver's licenses or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada cards, Transportation worker identification credential.
Do children need a REAL ID to fly within the US?
For travel within the United States, the TSA does not require children under age 18 to provide ID when traveling with an adult companion who has acceptable identification.
Is your state compliant with REAL ID?
Most states have made considerable progress in meeting key recommendations and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before 2005. At this time 35 states and territories are 100-percent compliant with the standards set by REAL ID.
Here is how to check whether your own state is compliant.
Will REAL ID force you to change your vacation plans?
It's a good idea to find out whether your own ID is compliant. If your state is already compliant with REAL ID standards, you can go to the DMV to get an updated REAL ID driver's license. NOTE: Some states require extra documentation to get a REAL ID. If your state has been granted an extension to become compliant with REAL ID standard, you can use your current ID as your form of identification through the extension date. After the extension date, you will need a passport or passport card.
Just do it!
When renewing your driver's licence, please opt for one that is REAL ID approved. If not you would have to go back to the DMV and do it all over again. No one wants to go BACK to the DMV!