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.

Credit: NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles

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.

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

On The Road Gear & Accessories

Anker PowerCore 10000mAH Portable Charger (Assorted Colors) - https://amzn.to/2KGQkt1· 

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 30W Power Delivery Portable Charger - https://amzn.to/2YVwhQd

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2TKBBQz

Apple AirPods with Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2He7BaR

Apple EarPods with 3.5mm Headphone Plug - https://amzn.to/2ZckfNm

Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector - https://amzn.to/31M6M0t

bago 25L Lightweight Packable/Foldable Backpack (Assorted Colors) - https://amzn.to/2KItaT4

Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector w/Rotating Plug (1 Amp) - https://amzn.to/2Hdmv0N

Belkin 3.5mm Audio + Charge Rockstar - https://amzn.to/31Lyr1K

Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar - https://amzn.to/31QLeA7

Kenneth Cole Reaction 1680d Polyester Expandable Double Gusset 17.3" Laptop Backpack (Black or Navy) - https://amzn.to/2Ha43Gf

Maglite Mini PRO LED 2-Cell AA Flashlight with Holster (Black) - https://amzn.to/2Hdm7iR

Nite Ize Inova Squeeze Light LED (Black) - https://amzn.to/31KVLg3

SwissGear Compact Luggage Tags (Assorted Colors 2 Pack) - https://amzn.to/31NzgXW

SwissGear TSA-Accepted 3-Dial Combination Lock (Black) - https://amzn.to/2KHa13R

Before You Take Your 15-inch MacBook Pro In The Air

Credit: Apple

Credit: Apple

Back in June 2019, Apple issued a voluntary recall of some older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro models due to batteries which could potentially overheat and pose a risk to safety. Apple advised owners of potentially affected 15-inch MacBook Pros to stop using them immediately and to visit their 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page for information on product eligibility and how to get their battery replaced for free.

The affected models are identified as the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) which were sold between September 2015 and February 2017. Owners of a 15-inch MacBook Pro can check to see if their MacBook Pro is affected by going into the Apple menu then “About This Mac.” If the MacBook Pro is identified as a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), you should go to Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro Battery Recall Program page and enter the MacBook Pro’s serial number to confirm product eligibility and for details on how to get a free battery replacement. The serial number can be found by going to “About This Mac” and/or by checking the underside of the MacBook Pro. Battery replacements are estimated to take around 1-2 weeks.

Recently, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reminded airlines that recalled products are banned from flight regardless of whether they are in carry-on or checked baggage. As such, the MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015) is essentially banned from flight. Other 15-inch MacBook Pros are not affected by the ban.

Of course, this is where things get complicated. So far, no specific information is available on how exactly airlines will screen for these affected 15-inch MacBook Pros and what the potential impact will be to travelers (ex: screening delays). Since the affected 15-inch MacBook Pros will look virtually identical to non-affected 15-inch MacBook Pros, the only option to identify these devices visually will be to either check every serial number against Apple’s recall page or have travelers boot up their 15-inch MacBook Pros so that screeners may review the “About This Mac” window to determine if the MacBook Pro is an affected model.

To further complicate the situation, travelers who have had the battery replaced in their affected 15-inch MacBook Pro will be permitted to take their MacBook Pros in flight BUT you’re going to have to prove that the battery has been replaced. That means you’ll need to carry and present documentation showing your affected 15-inch MacBook Pro’s battery was properly serviced and replaced. Even so, airlines and screeners will still have overall discretion in determining whether your 15-inch MacBook Pro will be permitted in the air.

If you own a 15-inch MacBook Pro, be sure to check and see if your MacBook Pro is part of the recall. Regardless of whether you intend to fly with your 15-inch MacBook Pro, if you own a MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), you’ll want to get your battery replaced as soon as possible.

LINKS:

Note: The links below include Affiliate Links. Please review the section entitled "Affiliate Links" in the Terms of Use of this website for additional information.

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.6GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 256GB, Space Gray) - https://amzn.to/2KGNC6P

Apple MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2.3GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, 512GB, Space Gray) - https://amzn.to/2KDRfdv

On The Road Gear & Accessories

Anker PowerCore 10000mAH Portable Charger (Assorted Colors) - https://amzn.to/2KGQkt1· 

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD with 30W Power Delivery Portable Charger - https://amzn.to/2YVwhQd

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2TKBBQz

Apple AirPods with Charging Case - https://amzn.to/2He7BaR

Apple EarPods with 3.5mm Headphone Plug - https://amzn.to/2ZckfNm

Apple EarPods with Lightning Connector - https://amzn.to/31M6M0t

bago 25L Lightweight Packable/Foldable Backpack (Assorted Colors) - https://amzn.to/2KItaT4

Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector w/Rotating Plug (1 Amp) - https://amzn.to/2Hdmv0N

Belkin 3.5mm Audio + Charge Rockstar - https://amzn.to/31Lyr1K

Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge Rockstar - https://amzn.to/31QLeA7

Kenneth Cole Reaction 1680d Polyester Expandable Double Gusset 17.3" Laptop Backpack (Black or Navy) - https://amzn.to/2Ha43Gf

Maglite Mini PRO LED 2-Cell AA Flashlight with Holster (Black) - https://amzn.to/2Hdm7iR

Nite Ize Inova Squeeze Light LED (Black) - https://amzn.to/31KVLg3

SwissGear Compact Luggage Tags (Assorted Colors 2 Pack) - https://amzn.to/31NzgXW

SwissGear TSA-Accepted 3-Dial Combination Lock (Black) - https://amzn.to/2KHa13R

Throwback Thursday: A Road Trip Through Nevada, Utah and Arizona

On this throwback Thursday, I’m taking a trip down memory lane, looking back at a road trip that I took a few years ago through Nevada, Utah and Arizona. The trip started in Nevada where I, along with good friends, spent a few days in Las Vegas walking around the city, taking in a couple of shows (The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil and Penn & Teller at the Rio Theater) and enjoying the atmosphere, food and attractions (ex: Freemont Street Experience, High Roller at the LINQ). While in Nevada, we also went to check out the Hoover Dam.

Next stop was Zion National Park in Utah which was absolutely incredible. I definitely remember how sunny and hot it was. I was looking for shade from the intense sun. Took a lot of great pictures and the scenery was unbelievable. We only spent a few hours in Zion National Park but it was amazing!

In Arizona, we made stops in Page, Sedona and Phoenix. We visited the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, the Glen Canyon Dam, the Lowell Observatory, Red Rock State Park, we took a boat tour on Lake Powell in Page, did the Pink Jeep Broken Arrow Tour in Sedona, visited McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and the Penske Racing Museum, just to name a few. We had planned to do a hot air balloon ride too, but due to weather, the hot air balloon ride was grounded.

It was a wonderful trip and I look forward to doing it again in the future.

You can check out the highlight video of my road trip below!

Fun Fact: In my post, In A World of Loops and Smart Instruments, I mention that the track “The Journey” was inspired by a recent road trip. This is the road trip that brought about the inspiration for that track along with “Charting The Course,” “A Call To Action,” “Reflection in Time,” “Paradise,” “On The Road,” and “Onwards.” You can check out all these tracks in the Music Gallery.