REAL ID compliant driver's license neccesary for travel beginning Oct 2020

Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID ( to fly within the United States.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act and implementing regulations establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane.

REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. Even if your current driver's license is not set to expire prior to Oct 1, 2020, you will need to get a new driver's license noting REAL-ID compliance if you plan on using your license to board flights. If you’re not sure if your current driver's license is REAL-ID compliant, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant license.

Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York issue both REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. State-issued enhanced driver's licenses do not have a star on the top of the license but rather are marked with a flag. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only. Enhanced driver's licenses will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.

For info by state, including where to obtain a REAL ID, visit the DHS REAL ID website ( and click your state on the map.


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