Real ID Deadline Upcoming
On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will fully roll out enforcement of the Real ID Act – a federal initiative (first introduced in 2005) to enforce security standards for U.S. license issuance and the licenses/credentials federal agencies will accept for identification verification. Come October 1, citizens will require a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card or other form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or to enter any federal building or military establishment that requires identification.
The U.S. Travel Association says a majority of Americans are unprepared for the change. It is estimated that 72 percent of Americans either do not have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or are unsure if they do.
What is a Real ID?
Real ID-compliant identification cards are marked with a star symbol in the upper portion of the card. The style of the star may vary depending on geographic location. In some states – Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington, they are referred to as an “enhanced driver’s license” and will instead be marked with an American Flag. Check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to determine if your license is Real ID-compliant.
Who needs a Real ID?
All Americans traveling by air will need a Real ID to board a flight within the U.S. on and after October 1, 2020. Exceptions include citizens under the age of 18 (who will be traveling with a compliant 18+ companion), those who only need their ID for purposes of identification who prefer to travel using their TSA-approved ID (such as a passport) when they fly starting on the enforcement date.
Where can you get a Real ID?
Unless travelers plan to start using their passport for all flights, the DMV is where travelers will need to go to get a Real ID or enhanced driver’s license. U.S. Travel urges checking with the state’s DMV in advance and gather the required documents for obtaining a Real ID. Required documentation includes:
- Proof of identity: certified copy of birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card or foreign passport with an approved I-94 form
- Proof of Social Security: SSN card, W-2 form, or pay stub with full SSN
- Proof of residency: rental or lease agreement, mortgage bill, utility bill, or employment/medical/school document
- Proof of name change, if applicable: marriage certificate or divorce decree.
If you are going to fly to an AQS QuiltWeek or any other event, plan ahead to make sure you have a Real ID license or current passport by October 1, 2020, to be able to board the airplane.
If you have any questions, visit the government site: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-frequently-asked-questions. Please contact your state for the details of availability in your state.