REAL ID - what you need to know

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 established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses.

Beginning October 1st, 2021, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. A REAL ID driver's license is generally marked with a star located in the upper portion of the ID. For information on the REAL ID program, visit the DHS REAL ID website.

Your driver's license is REAL ID compliant if one of the below symbols appears on it or if it says "Enhanced".  Currently, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington are the only states that issue Enhanced Driver's Licenses.  If none of these exist, you will need to have a new driver's license issued prior to October 1st, 2021 should you wish to use your driver's license to transit TSA security and board a plane.

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