Talk of Real ID has been floating around for years now. "It's coming. Be ready". Then the date gets moved back and we all push it out of our minds. However, the new deadline is approaching so today I want to make sure YOU are ready for this transition.
What IS Real ID? Real ID is a form of ID that has a minimum set of standards for issuance. The U.S. is creating this ID as a way to have consistent levels of security required for entering federal buildings, including airports. Real ID is an added level of security to your driver's license.
How do I get it? You apply for a Real ID through your state's driver's license agency, such as the DMV. You'll want to check with your specific state to see what the requirements are. At minimum, you will need documentation showing your full legal name, birth date, social security number, your lawful residency in the U.S., and 2 proofs of current address.
Who will need a real ID? Everyone age 18 and older who wishes to enter a secure federal facility or board a DOMESTIC flight must have a compliant ID. This may be a passport, Enhanced Driver's License, or a Real ID.
Did you just say I have to have a Real ID for domestic travel? Yes I did! You will need either a passport, Enhanced Driver's License or a Real ID to board a domestic flight beginning on May 3rd. If you do NOT have one of these documents, you will be turned away at security. A regular driver's license will no longer suffice.
Do I REALLY need Real ID since I can use my passport? While this may be tempting, I'd recommend getting your Real ID now. Sooner or later your passport will expire and you will have to send it off for renewal. Without Real ID, you wouldn't be able to take any domestic flights until your new passport is in your hand. Do you really want to have to stress about the timing of this, especially if an emergency arises and you need to quickly hop on a plane?
What action should I take now? As the reality of new requirements sets in, I expect there to be a surge in people making appointments to get their Real ID, as well as applying for passports. If your passport expires any time in the next year, I suggest you make it a priority to get your Real ID soon so that you aren't left in a lurch without proper documentation. If your passport is valid beyond 2023, this takes some of the pressure off and gives you a bit more time to schedule your Real ID appointment. But, why wait? Get it taken care of soon and you'll be covered in all situations.
Lisa is the travel loving, animal adoring, Mickey Mouse hugging owner of Dreams Delivered Travel.