TSA Starts Spreading the Word About REAL ID

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An American passport

In less than 14 months, it will be a whole new ballgame when it comes to presenting identification for flights.

And the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) is getting the word out now.

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The TSA has begun announcements advising travelers of the new REAL ID requirements, which goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2020. In other words, your current license isn’t going to cut it.

On that date, each traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification – such as a passport or military ID – to fly within the United States. Individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.

“The security requirements of the REAL ID Act are an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security,” TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell said in a statement. “REAL ID implementation is a little more than a year away – now is the time to prepare.”

Rollout of new signage started at document checking stations and signs have been placed at airports to remind travelers that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020.

REAL ID-compliant licenses are marked by a star on the top of the card. Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota and New York already issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect. Travelers who are not sure if their state-issued ID is compliant should check with their state driver’s license agency.

For more information about flying with a REAL ID and to download and print informational materials, visit tsa.gov/real-id