February 19, 2020 — This could happen to you next fall: you hand your license to airport security and she hands it back. Sorry sir, this is not REAL ID – you cannot board the plane. That’s right, starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification (such as a US Passport, US Passport Card, US military card, or a DHS Trusted Traveller Card) for domestic air travel.
The Real ID Act of 2005 sets forth requirements for state driver licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, which are activities defined as boarding commercially operated airline flights, and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.
Before you panic, chances are you might already have REAL ID. Pull out your current driver license and look at the number. Is there a star at the end of that number? If so, not to worry, you have REAL ID. If not, better keep on reading on how to get one.
Documentation required before issuing a license or ID car
Since the U.S. has no national ID card, requirements for exactly what kinds of documents are required can vary slightly by state, but they all have the same basic requirements. In Florida, for example,
U.S. Citizens have to bring 1 of the following to the DMV:
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
- Original or Certified copy of a birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS
- Certificate of Citizenship
Non-Citizens have to bring a non-expired, valid residency card or passport.
Both Citizens and Non-Citizens will need to bring:
- Social Security Card or proof of your social security number.
- Two documents that show your principal residence
A passport will also work
Perhaps you don’t have a driver license, or didn’t get your REAL ID yet. Your valid passport will still get you on the plane.
Bottom line: Don’t wait. If you don’t have REAL ID yet, pull your necessary documents together and head down to the DMV. You can go online to your DMV and find out exactly what you need to bring. Things could get crowded as the Oct 1 deadline nears. Don’t get turned away at the airport next fall because you are missing the right ID.
Comments? Do you already have your REAL ID? Was it easy to get? Share your experiences in the Comments section below.