What is REAL ID and do I need it?

You might have heard the term “REAL ID” thrown around lately, and wonder if it applies to you. Well, if you plan on boarding a plane for your family vacation, you need to know the details.

What is REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005. It 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” per the Homeland Security website. Essentially, it was an act passed to help prevent identify theft for Americans. Minimum security standards have been established for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and federal agencies are prohibited from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and ID’s from states that do not meet the standards set.

How does this affect my future travel plans?

For those of us who like to fly, starting January 22, 2018 passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and that has not been granted an extension) will need to show alternative forms of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. If your license has been issued by a state that is compliant, or has been granted an extension, then you can still use your license as normal when going through security. For the current status of your state, click on the following link: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.

Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license for domestic air travel or another form of approved identification. For a list of accepted forms of identification, click on the following link: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Minors will not need a REAL ID form of identification as long as they are under the age of 18 and traveling with a companion who has acceptable identification.

So, all in all, you’re good for now, but in a few years you will need the right ID in order to board your flight for your planned vacation; otherwise it could be a really long day at the airport.

What steps do I take to obtain a REAL ID?

Ok, so you have a couple years to get your new license, but how do you go about getting one? It’s not as overwhelming as it may seem. Simply go the DMV in person and present the following information:
1. An original or certified copy of your birth certificate or other proof of identity, and proof of US citizenship or lawful status in the U.S.
2. One document for proof of Social Security Number
3. Two different proofs of your residential address

Once you have your new license, you’re good to go! Now, even if you’re waiting until 2020 to get your REAL ID-compliant license, don’t wait to contact Miller Murphy Travel to learn more about booking your next unforgettable vacation.

Miller Murphy Travel is an independent affiliate of Brownell Travel, a Virtuoso member
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