In order to fly on a plane or enter certain federal facilities in the United States, the government requires individuals to have a certain form of identification. As of today’s date, this includes either a regular driver’s license or a passport. However, it was announced in 2019 that these laws would change and require individuals to have a new identification: a Real ID. Previously, the deadline to obtain this ID was October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this deadline was now pushed back until Fall of 2021. Continue reading below to learn more.
What is Real ID?
The REAL ID Act was established in 2005 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It authorizes a federal standard for issuing and producing identification cards, such as driver’s licenses. It established a minimum security standard which prohibited federal agencies from accepting identifications that do not meet the right standards. Without this new identification, people may not be permitted access to federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and federally regulated commercial aircrafts. It is important to note this obligation to get a Real ID does not require an extra form of identification. It is simply an upgraded driver’s license.
How Can I Get a Real ID?
It is always better to be prepared than unprepared. While the deadline for the Real ID may seem far away, you do not want to find yourself unprepared when the deadline passes and you are in need of it. Applications should begin as early as possible. This can be done through your local Department of Motor Vehicles with documentation that shows the following:
- Full legal name
- Date of birth
- Social security number
- Two proofs of address of principal residence
- Lawful status
How do I Know if I Already Have a Real ID?
If you have recently been to the DMV, you may already have a Real ID. To know for sure, simply look at your driver’s license. A Real ID will have a gold or black star on the top right corner.
Can I Still Fly Without a Real ID?
As of Fall 2021, all states and territories will require travelers to have Real ID in order to fly. However, travelers can still use a United States Passport, a United States Passport Card, or a State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License to travel.
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