The REAL ID Act and Passport Requirements

When Do I Need To Change How I Travel?

REAL ID Act and Passport Requirements

You may need a passport soon…

Since Congress approved the REAL ID Act in 2005, there has been subtle but serious changes in regards to what state you live in as all as the regulations to travel on commercial domestic flights. In the 11 years this bill has been in the making, only 23 US states have adopted the act and issue acceptable identification cards. This leaves more than half of the American population without the ability to fly with only their drivers license. Millions of Americans may soon need a passport just to fly domestically across the country. Here is a timeline of who needs to act, what to do, and when to do it.

1.)  There are a few states/territories that have an extension through October 10, 2017 which allows the Federal agencies to accept drivers licenses and identification cards. On the contrary, it is important to recognize that this is a temporarily extension and when the date expires a second form of identification, such as a passport, will be required if the state does not undergo the change and accept the REAL ID Act.

2.)  Beginning January 2017, passengers who are from a state that does not issue driver’s license or identification cards abiding by the REAL ID Act need a second form of identification to travel by domestic flights. A few examples of these types of accepted documents are
• U.S. passport
U.S. passport card
• DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
• U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
• Permanent resident card
• Border crossing card

Needless to say that if your ID is from one of the 23 accepted states a second form is not necessary.

3.)  However, beginning October 2020 EVERY air traveler will need to present either the REAL ID- compliant license/ identification card or another government accepted form of identification such as a passport for domestic air travel.

The following states/territories are compliant with the REAL ID Act:
• Alabama
• Arizona
• Colorado
• Connecticut
• Delaware
• DC
• Florida
• Georgia
• Hawaii
• Indiana
• Iowa
• Kansas
• Maryland
• Mississippi
• Nebraska
• Nevada
• Ohio
• S. Dakota
• Tennessee
• Utah
• Vermont
• West Virginia
• Wisconsin
• Wyoming

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