Traveling Domestically in 2020? Time To Get REAL ID Compliant!

“The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.”

– US Department of Homeland Security

By now, you should be aware that starting October 1, 2020, travelers will be required to present a REAL ID compliant form of identification in order to get on US domestic flights. In addition, REAL ID compliant forms of identification will also be required to enter certain federal buildings and military facilities. State-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards which are not currently REAL ID compliant will no longer be an acceptable form of identification for these purposes.

Photo Credit: NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Photo Credit: NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles

REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards should be identifiable by the printed star located in the upper section of the card. However, if you are uncertain whether your state-issued driver’s license or identification card is REAL ID compliant, check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

In New York, the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) currently offers Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard driver’s licenses and identification cards. Only the Enhanced and REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards are REAL ID compliant. The Standard is not and indicates that it is Not For Federal Purposes.

Though travelers may continue to use non-REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards until the October 1, 2020 deadline, travelers are encouraged to replace their non-REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards ahead of the deadline. Replacement of your existing non-REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s license or identification card is not mandatory. However, after the deadline, individuals without a REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s license or identification card will need to present an alternative form of acceptable identification like a US Passport, US Passport card or DHS Trusted Traveler card (ex: Global Entry card) in order to get on domestic flights, enter certain federal buildings and military facilities.

Obtaining a REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s license or identification card will require a visit to your local DMV office and there are certain documentation requirements. Before visiting your local DMV office, be sure to check with them to find out what you’ll need to bring with you in order to obtain a REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s license or identification card.

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