Everything you need to know about the new REAL ID CARD

By Staff


It’s a new year, which means it’s out with old and in with the new; new identification needed to fly, that is. Effective Oct 1st, 2020, a real ID or an acceptable alternate is required to verify your identity at the airport. I know you are probably wondering what exactly this mean. There are already a variety of different types of identification and an abundance of information with too many words out on the internet. So I am going to break it down, plain and simple...it’s 2020, go get your passport.

But for those who still may have questions, here’s a few FAQs.

What Prompted this Change?
In the wake of September 11th, Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s license.” In other words, there’s a more tedious process for getting state issued identification in an effort to crack down on potential airline terrorism, especially on domestic flights. This is the last phase of the Act.

What is a Real ID?
A Real ID is a state issued driver’s license or identification that is compliant with the aforementioned Real ID Act. A Real ID is usually marked with a star, with the color and look varying dependent upon the issuing state. However, there are a few IDs that are unmarked; such as IDs from select states (Hawaii, Ohio, Tennessee and Utah) and the Enhanced Driver Licenses. When in doubt, confirm with your state directly.

Do I Really Need A Real ID?
• If you want to fly with only your state issued ID
• If you don’t have a passport or another TSA approved ID
• If, for whatever reason, you need to visit a secure federal facility (e.g. a military base or nuclear power plant) and don’t have the appropriate credentials.
then yes, you need a real ID

What are the Acceptable Alternates?
TSA accepts several other forms of identifying documents, such as a passport.
The full list is available at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

What Happens if I am not Real ID Compliant?
Simply put, you will not be able to enter the TSA checkpoint. This of course means you won’t be boarding any flights.

Will Minors Need a Real ID?
According to the TSA Website “No. 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, personally, would strongly recommend that your children have the proper identification.

How Do I Get a Real ID?
Check with your state’s agency to know specifically what documents are required. At the minimum, you will need to:
1. Make an appointment with your state DMV
2. Bring proof of identity, most common being a certified copy of birth certificate and SSN card
3. Show (2) proof of residency
4. Pay fee
But verify first.

**Note: this change is only for domestic flights. A passport (and visa if applicable) is still required for international travel.

There’s plenty of additional information available if you have more detailed questions. With all of that being said, I’ll direct you back to my very first suggestion...go get your passport. With today’s climate, you never quite know when fleeing the country will be necessary.

..hypothetically speaking, of course.