What do I Need to Know About the Deadline for a Real ID?

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What do I Need to Know About the Deadline for a Real ID?

The United States government requires individuals to have a certain identification in order to fly on a plane or enter certain federal facilities. As of now, this is allowed with just a regular driver’s license or a passport. However, it was announced in 2019 that these laws would be changing, requiring individuals to have a Real ID. While the original deadline to obtain this ID was in October 2020, the date was pushed back due to COVID-19. Now, people have until Fall 2021 to receive their new identification. This may seem far away, but it is important to always prepare in advance. Continue reading below to learn more.

What is Real ID?

In 2005, the REAL ID Act was established in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, authorizing a federal standard for the issuance and production of identification cards and driver’s licenses. It established a minimum security standard, prohibiting federal agencies from accepting identifications that do not meet these standards. Without it, people may not be allowed access to federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and federally regulated commercial aircrafts. A Real ID does not require anyone to obtain an extra form of identification. Instead, it is simply an upgraded driver’s license. 

How Can I Get a Real ID?

It is always better to be prepared than unprepared. You do not want to be found waiting on line at the airport without a Real ID when the deadline passes. That is why you should begin the process of applying 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 been to the DMV recently, there is a chance you already have the upgraded driver’s license. You can find this out by looking 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?

All states and territories will require travelers to have Real ID in order to fly as of Fall 2021. However, this does not mean they are completely unable to fly without it. Instead, travelers will be required to have a United States Passport, a United States Passport Card, or a State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License.

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