What You Need To Know About the REAL ID Act

If you have been to the airport recently, you have probably seen signs advising of upcoming changes to the identification required to board an airplane. This is due to the REAL ID Act, the latest phase of which takes effect on January 22, 2018.

What is the REAL ID Act?

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. It prohibits Federal agencies like the TSA from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet these standards.

Starting January 22, 2018, passengers living in states that are not yet compliant with REAL ID, or which have received an extension, will be required by TSA to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel.

Passengers who have licenses issued by a state that is compliant or a state that has an approved extension may continue to use their licenses as usual. At this time, all states are compliant, or have been issued an extension. A real-time view of this map is available at www.dhs.gov/real-id.

“Keep in mind, this change impacts adults, but nothing changes for minors. No child under the age of 18 should experience issues boarding a flight for a WorldStrides program,” explains Greg Hunt, Director of Air Operations. “And remember, a passport is still required for all citizens, regardless of age, for international travel.”

What if your state isn’t in compliance?

If your state is listed as one of the “under review” states, you will need another form of REAL ID Act-compliant government-issued ID, such as a passport. For a full list of accepted methods of identification, visit the TSA Identification page.

Learn more about the REAL ID Act here.