Oh, the wonderful hoops that Homeland Security comes up with for us mere mortals to jump through. Beginning in 2020, they have yet another requirement for anyone planning to hop on an airline. It is called the REAL ID, and you must have this travel document on or before October 01, 2020.
In addition to the TSA compliant travel bottles and containers, you must now make your way to the DMV to get an updated identification card or driver’s license.
Right now, almost all of the US states are ready to issue these new IDs. So, you should be able to acquire this documentation at any time. But, you will need to carry a few things with you to be issued your new card.
What Is A REAL ID Compliant Card?
A REAL ID card can easily be identified by the star logo located at the top right of your driver’s license. Without proper identification, you will not be able to pass through security.
To see if you already have a complaint ID, you can check your driver’s license. If you see a star located at the top, you are good to go. If not, you may want to make plans to update your ID.
Who Needs A REAL Compliant ID?
You will need a REAL compliant ID if you need to access nuclear plants. That’s probably something most of us don’t need to worry about.
You will also need a REAL compliant ID if you need to enter federal buildings. Courtrooms are not part of this requirement.
And lastly, you will need a REAL compliant card if you plan to fly on a commercial flight anywhere within the US, AND you plan to use your driver’s license as your proof of ID.
REMINDER – Don’t forget to save your receipts if you are traveling for business. Many business-related travel expenses are tax-deductible.
When Is A REAL ID Not Necessary?
Anyone under the age of 18 and traveling with an adult does not need a REAL compliant card.
If you are using a passport as your travel identification or you are traveling on an international flight, your passport is all that you will need to travel.
If you are crossing the US border into Mexico or Canada or you are traveling on a cruise, your REAL ID will not be acceptable. You will still need your passport.
What You Will Need To Take With You to The DMV
At the very least, you will need something that demonstrates proof of name and date of birth. For most situations, a birth certificate covers this requirement.
You will also need proof of your social security number. You can do this easiest with your social security card. If you don’t have one, you can also use your W-2s as proof. More acceptable forms are listed on each state’s DMV site.
In addition, you will need two proofs of residency. Most states accept things like utility bills, mortgage statements, bank statements, current driver’s license, etc. to fill this requirement.
Because each state can vary on what they will and will not accept (and how much info is required), you should check with your local DMV before going in.
Where Can I Find More Information?
The best place to find information on what is required and how to get your REAL ID is through your state or local DMV office.
Additional information about through the Homeland Security website and via the TSA website.