Real ID Card

 

 

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If you’re a frequent traveller, you might have heard talk about Real ID cards at airports all over the U.S. Starting January 22nd, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is not Real ID compliant will have to show additional identification for domestic air travel.

 

If you’re travelling any time after January 22nd, 2018, we recommend double checking that you have all the necessary forms of identification with you, before leaving for the airport, to avoid any travel disruptions.

 

How did this all start?

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005, following a suggestion from the 9/11 Commission. It aims to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” Therefore, the Real ID Act set stricter security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and other forms of identification. And it also prohibits the acceptance of cards from states that are not compliant.1

“The act prevents the production of fake IDs and ensures that all identification that is used has certain features which prevent tampering or are difficult to replicate,” said Justine Whelan, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.2

 

What is a Real ID card?

A Real ID card is a standardized national identification. It includes your photograph and, in addition, displays your legal name, gender, birth date, address, signature, and license or ID number. The card is also equipped with an RFID chip and other security features to prevent it from being counterfeited or duplicated.3

 

A Real ID card is a standardized national identification.

 

What will change on January 22nd, 2018?

If your driver’s license is from a non-compliant state, you will be unable to solely rely on your driver license to travel. Therefore, you will have to show additional documentation to prove that you are who you say you are. If your license is from a compliant state, or from one with an extension to become compliant, you will be able to use it as a form of identification to travel domestically.

 

Now, you may be wondering what will happen if you don’t have a Real ID compliant license. Will you be able to travel?

 

And as of October 2020, every passenger will have to present a Real ID compliant license or another form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. A compliant license is one that is issued by a state that adheres to the Real ID Act’s security criteria.

 

Real ID Card: What will change on January 22nd, 2018? Click To Tweet

 

Now, you may be wondering what will happen if you don’t have a Real ID compliant license. Will you be able to travel?

The Department of Homeland Security has given states more than two years advance notice to become compliant. This also gives travellers enough time to obtain an alternate form of acceptable identification. So, as long as you have an approved form of identification, regardless of whether the state you live in is compliant, you can still travel domestically.1

 

TIP: You can easily find out if your state is compliant by checking the Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID webpage.

 

What are the acceptable forms of identification to travel? Do I need a Real ID card?

A few other acceptable forms of identification, other than a Real ID card, are: 

  • a U.S. passport
  • a U.S. passport card
  • a permanent resident card
  • a Canadian provincial driver’s license

A temporary driver’s license is not an acceptable form of identification. To find out every permissible form of identification, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s Identification webpage.4

 

A temporary driver’s license is not an acceptable form of identification to flight domestically. Click To Tweet

 

Where can I get a Real ID card?

If you live in a state that is already compliant, you can get a Real ID card through your local Department of Motor Vehicles. However, to get one of these cards, you will need to present the following documents:

  • a photo ID, or a non-photo ID that has your full legal name and date of birth
  • a valid birth-certificate
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of legal U.S. citizenship, or proof of lawful admittance into/temporary residence within the U.S.5

 

Avoid Travel Disruptions

We, at Encore Travel, understand that it will take some time to adjust to this new identification card. So, if you’re travelling any time after January 22nd, 2018, we recommend double checking that you have all the necessary forms of identification with you, before leaving for the airport, to avoid any travel disruptions.

 

 

Sources

 

  • S. Department of Homeland Security: REAL ID
  • The New York Times: What you need to know about the new ID law and travel
  • GoErie: No Real ID nightmare for Pa. travelers in new year
  • Transportation Security Administration: Identification
  • org: The REAL ID Act: Are you ready for a National ID?

 

 

 

 

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