What Travelers Need To Know About Real ID

June 4, 2019

Do you need a passport or a driver’s license to fly at the airport? Pretty soon, your current driver’s license may not be enough to get you through security at the airport: As of October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 or older will need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or another accepted form of ID to fly within the United States.

Formulated in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and passed by Congress in 2005, the Real ID Act is aimed at combatting terrorism by increasing the minimum standards for federally recognized identification, such as driver’s licenses.

Why do I need a new driver’s license?

Congress doesn’t actually have the authority to set standards for driver’s licenses. But the federal government figured out a workaound by prohibiting federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses that didn’t meet its criteria.

For anyone who wants to fly without a passport or other additional ID, that means getting a compliant license by next October.

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