What is the REAL ID Act and What Does it Mean for Me?

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The REAL ID program begins October 1, 2020 and impacts all Americans 18 and older.

The REAL ID program begins October 1, 2020 and impacts all Americans 18 and older.

Beginning October 1, 2020, all Americans aged 18 and up will need driver’s licenses that are REAL ID compliant in order to board flights.

As many Lily Pond Luxury clients are already planning travel well into the fall of 2020, we wanted to share a some pertinent news about how to ensure that your identification is compliant and ready for your travels, both now and in the future.

What is the REAL ID Act?

According to the TSA:

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted 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 and implementing regulations establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane.

Beginning October 1, 2020, all travelers 18 years and older will need to provide REAL ID compliant identification when traveling.

How do I know if my ID is REAL ID compliant?

Travelers with a compliant REAL ID will see a gold or black star, or a star cutout in a gold or black circle in a gold grizzly bear on their license, in the upper portion fo the card.

Most U.S. states already issue compliant driver’s licenses as standard.

Certain states, including Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York, have REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses. These are both considered acceptable forms of identification. State-issued enhanced licenses are marked with a flag, and will be accepted at TSA checkpoints when enforcement begins.


How do I obtain a REAL ID-compliant ID?

You may obtain a compliant ID by going to your state’s license agency, usually the DMV. Please reach out to your driving agency in advance to make sure you have the necessary documents needed to obtain a new compliance license.

To see if your state’s ID is already compliant, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s page detailing state status.

What is required for minors?

Currently, the TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification.

I am traveling but don’t have a REAL ID - what can I do?

Never fear! A number of alternate forms of ID are accepted. A full list is below:

  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)

  • U.S. passport

  • 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

  • State-issued 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

A weapon permit is not an acceptable form of identification. A temporary driver's license is not an acceptable form of identification.

View a number of other FAQs on the Department of Homeland Security’s Website.

We have you covered, no matter where you’re going. From passport renewal assistance and visas to international driving permits, let Lily Pond Luxury take care of the details so that your travel remains seamless from start to finish.