What you need to know about Traveling and your ID's
It's really important that prior to traveling you have everything you need in way of your identification and documentation. Some things are about to change, so it's important to stay up to date. This is a big part of my job as an advisor; to make sure my clients have a current license/legal state ID, non expired passport and any visa's they may need to travel and that they are aware of any changes about to happen.
So, what is the Real ID Act?
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies (like the TSA) from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. States have made considerable progress in meeting these standards and every state has a more secure driver’s license today. But not ALL states are compliant.
What is changing in the near future with travel and identification that you need to know?
On January 22, 2018, because of the REAL ID act, some of you won't be able to travel with only your state driver's licenses. You may even notice signs around airport security checkpoints informing travelers of the new TSA rules going into effect in 2018 and you may get questioned.
For those living in Illinois, New York, Louisiana, Michigan & Missouri, an automatic grace period is in effect through January 22, 2018, allowing travel with state issued driver's licenses. A further extension is being considered by the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)
For those living in Alaska, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, N. Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington an extension has been granted through October 10, 2018, allowing travel with state issued driver's licenses.
Beginning October 1, 2020, you may not use your state-issued driver’s license or ID for domestic air travel.
Prepare for the checkpoint: If you're concerned that your state-issued driver’s license or photo ID may not be accepted by TSA beginning January 22, 2018, then apply for an alternative identification document well ahead of your planned travel dates. Below are some accepted forms of alternate ID. Refer to the complete list at tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification
U.S. passport card
The passport card is an alternative that will allow travelers from noncompliant states to board a domestic flight; it will not be valid for international air travel. Passport cards are the same size as a driver’s license, cost $55 for first time applicants, and $30 for anyone who already has a passport. More Information
DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and Dept. of Defense (DoD) civilians)
Permanent resident card
Foreign government-issued passport
Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
Here are some websites for more information:
- Homeland Security - Real ID Frequently Asked Questions
- Homeland Security - State Compliance & General Information
Compliant States Map: