The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reminds travelers that the upcoming REAL ID requirement and enforcement will start in a little more than seven months. Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or other acceptable forms of identification, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the United States. Individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.
This will be critical for U.S. citizens who plans to travel to the NFDA International Convention & Expo, October 18-21 in New Orleans, La.
“This is an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security and we urge travelers to ensure they have compliant documents,” said Acting DHS Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. “DHS is committed to working with states as they continue their efforts to issue REAL IDs to Americans.”
REAL ID-compliant licenses are marked by a star on the top of the card. Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states issue both REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect. Travelers who are not sure if their state-issued ID is compliant should check with their state driver’s license agency.
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act implements the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as at airport security checkpoints. The regulations established the deadline of October 1, 2020, to ensure full enforcement of the REAL ID Act. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.
For more information on how to become REAL ID compliant, check with your local state driver’s license agency. To download and print informational materials, visit www.tsa.gov/real-id.