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Real ID deadline for air travel extended another two years

The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it is extending the deadline to require Real ID-compliant identification for air travelers, pushing the start date from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025.

The extension will give states more time to ensure residents have driver's licenses and identification cards that comply with enhanced security standards under the Real ID Act. Efforts to provide those IDs have been "significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic," DHS said in a press release. 

The deadline for the new IDs has already been extended previously. While time extensions in the past were caused by a lack of full state compliance with the requirements for issuing the more secure driver’s licenses, the deadline was previously pushed from October 2021 to this coming May, officials said at the time, because the pandemic had made it harder for people to get into state motor vehicle departments to obtain the new identifications.

Image: A TSA agent directs passengers   on Nov. 21, 2022, in Kenner, La.

When the enforcement deadline finally begins in spring of 2025, the Transportation Security Administration will no longer be able to accept non-compliant identifications from travelers ages 18 or older for domestic flights, the department said.

DHS is working with states to meet the requirements and "Will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible,"  Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in the release. 

Congress passed the new standards as part of the Real ID Act in 2005, based on a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. The enhanced security standards for state-issued identification cards and driver's licenses aim to make IDs harder to counterfeit and allow records checks.

Colbi Edmonds is a Politics intern for NBC News.

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What Travelers Need to Know About the Real ID Deadline Extension

By Jessica Puckett

Aircraft landing on runway during sunset

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would once again push back the deadline to acquire a Real ID—a new and enhanced form of driver's license—by two years, to May 2025.

Previously, the new federal rules that require a Real ID-compliant form of identification to board any domestic airline flight were set to take effect on May 3, 2023. However, DHS extended the timeline due to lingering delays and backlogs caused by COVID. The later deadline is good news for U.S. travelers planning to fly next year who had yet to acquire the new enhanced IDs. The new federal rules are now set to take effect on May 7, 2025. 

“This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement . “DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible.” 

Organizations across the air travel industry applauded the decision. “Despite previous extensions to REAL ID implementation, the saturation of REAL ID compliant licenses and identification cards remains low,” Kevin M. Burke, the president and CEO of Airports Council International, North America. “This extension will allow individuals more time to obtain compliant identification, helping to prevent undue travel disruptions and preserving the health of the aviation system as we continue to navigate the pandemic’s impacts on global air travel.” 

When the extension ends in 2025, officials will enact strict regulations on what identification will be accepted by the TSA at security checkpoints—even for domestic flights. Using a standard driver's license will no longer get you onboard a plane. Rather, all air passengers boarding flights within the U.S. will need to show a Real ID-compliant driver's license, or another form of identification like a passport or Global Entry ID. Fortunately, it's already possible to obtain a Real ID at most local DMVs.

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming deadline for Real ID to ensure you have the right up-to-date identification for your travels. 

What is the new Real ID requirement?

The regulation is part of a law passed by Congress in 2005, which set new federal security standards for driver’s licenses and other forms of identification used to board planes in the U.S. The new standards apply to all states and territories. After the rules go into effect, driver’s licenses and other IDs that don’t meet the new requirements will not be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration for passing through airport security checkpoints.

Even if you have a TSA PreCheck or a Clear membership , you will need a Real ID-compliant form of identification to make it past airport security. A Global Entry card is considered Real ID–compliant and will be accepted under the new rules. Children under 18 get some leeway, as TSA does not require them to present identification when traveling with a companion within the U.S. As always, on an international trip, passports and other documents may be required by the airline or other agencies.

When is the Real ID deadline?

The new rules will go into effect on May 7, 2025. That's the date that all U.S. residents need to have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or other approved identification in hand to make it past airport security . 

How do I get a Real ID driver's license?

All 50 states and most U.S. territories are now issuing driver's licenses that are compliant with the new rules. (American Samoa's compliance is still under review, according to the Department of Homeland Security's website.) You simply need to visit your DMV in person to renew or replace your old license with a Real ID version. 

It's important to note that, confusingly, states that are Real ID compliant are also still allowed to issue licenses that are not considered Real IDs, so be sure to clarify with your DMV that you are requesting a Real ID.

Applying for a Real ID usually requires more documentation to prove your identity—and sometimes costs more—than obtaining a driver's license did in the past, and your state's DMV website should have a list of the required paperwork. Typically, the required documents include a birth certificate or passport, social security card, multiple proofs of residence in your state (like a utility bill or bank statement), and proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency, or temporary lawful status.  

Depending on whether you already have a license or other factors like citizenship status, additional documents may be required or you may be eligible to substitute other documents for ones you may be missing (for instance, if you're renewing a license in New York state, you can show a W-2 form with your full social security number in lieu of a SSN card). Be sure to read the list of required documents carefully. The Department of Homeland Security has an interactive map tool on its site that navigates users to each state's individual requirements.

What other forms of identification work to board a plane under the new rules?

Valid passports or passport cards will still work to get you through security for domestic flights, and passengers will still need them to board international flights. Global Entry membership cards are also valid for domestic flights under the new regulations, as are various forms of military ID, tribal-issued ID, and other government-issued IDs. You can see a full list of accepted documents on the TSA’s website.

How do I know if my current driver’s license is acceptable under Real ID rules?

Real ID driver’s licenses are marked with a star in the top corner. (It’s worth noting one confusing state policy: Ohio's old licenses have a gold star, while its Real IDs have a black star.) Enhanced driver’s licenses—which are slightly different, but are issued by some states in addition to Real IDs and are also acceptable under the new rules—have a flag in the corner.

What about airports that accept mobile driver's licenses? 

Earlier in 2022, TSA began allowing fliers with PreCheck to use a mobile driver's license uploaded to their iPhone at certain airports. However, the agency says that any passenger using a mobile driver's license still needs to carry a physical ID with them as a backup. So even TSA PreCheck passengers opting to use their iPhone to get through security will still need to have a Real ID-compliant form of identification on them.

Does my child need a Real ID to fly?

According to the TSA, children under 18 are not required to show identification at the security checkpoint when flying with a companion. (The companion, however, needs a valid form of ID.) The agency does encourage travelers to double check their airline's identification rules for minors before arriving at the airport.

What happens if I show up at the airport without an acceptable ID under the new rules?

TSA says you will not be let through security, and you will not be able to fly. In rare occasions in the past, if a flier forgot their ID for a domestic trip, TSA might have worked with them to verify their identity in a different way—like by asking them certain questions about their personal information. But the agency says that after Real ID is implemented, those days will be over. "TSA has no plans to provide an alternate verification process to confirm a traveler’s identity," says TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein. "Counting on TSA to provide that option to travelers who do not have a Real ID-compliant driver license or identification card is not a good strategy."

This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.

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Watch CBS News

Real ID deadline for air travelers extended by 2 years

By Nicole Sganga

Updated on: December 6, 2022 / 9:40 AM EST / CBS News

Travelers stand in a security line at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, on November 22, 2022, ahead of Thanksgiving.

Air travelers will now have two more years to upgrade their licenses and other forms of identification to be Real ID-compliant . 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday the new deadline will be May 7, 2025, allowing Americans more time following delays caused by the COVID pandemic. The old cutoff was slated for May 3, 2023. 

Americans wishing to trade their license or ID in for a compliant Real ID, which has a star symbol at the top of the card, must undergo a more stringent ID check during application. According to DHS, security features on Real IDs are designed to prevent counterfeiting and fraud, using documentary evidence and record checks to confirm travelers are who they claim to be. The Real ID will be required by travelers 18 or older to board a plane, enter a federal building or a military base. Passports, military IDs or Global Entry cards also will qualify to pass through airport security.

The Real ID Act was passed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks after several of the hijackers improperly obtained state IDs. All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories are covered by the REAL ID Act. 

Under the law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will not accept driver's licenses and identification cards that do not meet REAL ID standards. 

Over the past decade, REAL ID enforcement has repeatedly stalled after states failed to comply with the security requirements for issuing the updated driver's licenses. But officials say this time, it's the COVID-19 pandemic that's at fault, preventing Americans from accessing state motor vehicle departments to retrieve the updated identification. According to DHS, Real ID progress over the past two years has been "significantly hindered" by backlogs at state driver's licensing agencies created by the pandemic.

According to a DHS official, states have primary responsibility for increasing the REAL ID adoption rate, which currently stands at 52%, according to state-provided data.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Monday that the extension "will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card," adding, "DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible."

  • United States Department of Homeland Security

CBS News reporter covering homeland security and justice.

More from CBS News

Department of Homeland Security pushes REAL ID deadline to 2023

The deadline was initially moved back one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government is delaying the deadline for the REAL ID enforcement for a second time.

Every domestic air traveler 18 and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver's license or another TSA-acceptable form of identification beginning on May 3, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday.

PHOTO: A sample Real ID driver's license was released by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The original deadline of Oct. 1, 2020, was postponed for one year due to the pandemic. The second delay is also "due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," according to the DHS press release.

"The pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity," the release states.

Extending the deadline is the "right move," Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Association executive vice president for public affairs and policy, said in a statement.

MORE: Millions of Americans could be grounded from flying because of REAL ID deadline

"Getting to REAL ID compliance on time was already going to be a challenge before COVID shut down DMVs for extended periods," Barnes said. "Significant travel disruption was likely if the deadline were allowed to hit, which the U.S. economy can’t afford after a $500 billion decline in travel spending last year and millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic."

PHOTO: Customers wait to get their drivers licenses at a counter in the Haymarket Registry of Motor Vehicles office in Boston on March 21, 2018.

All 50 states, Washington, D.C., and four of the five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are now compliant with REAL ID security standards, the government said.

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The regulation was put in place in 2005 as a way to ensure travelers' identities following the 9/11 attacks, according to the DHS. Only recently did all 50 states come into compliance.

MORE: In a year, everyone will need REAL ID to fly, new rule could ground many passengers

Currently, only 43% of driver's licenses issued in the U.S. are REAL ID-compliant, according to DHS data.

ABC News' Ivan Pereira and Sam Sweeny contributed to this report.

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REAL ID: New Deadline Announced for Air Travel ID Requirements

Update: real id deadline postponed to 2023.

*Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline (again.) Now, the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2023. (More details) .

Now, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary

As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the Real ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card. Alejandro N. Mayorkas

Beginning * October 1, 2023 , every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another  acceptable form of ID  to fly within the United States.

A little more than a year away, the TSA is changing its identification requirements. Here’s exactly what this means for you, and how TSA “REAL ID” protocol affects future air travel. Effective on Oct. 1, 2020 ( Extended to October 1, 2023 ) travelers will not be allowed to board a flight without a REAL ID , or some kind of alternative identification such as a passport.

If you have been inside an airport recently, you may have seen signage at TSA checkpoints that announce there are going to be changes to what constitutes an acceptable ID for air travel.

In fact, the TSA has begun an awareness program to educate flyers. At many TSA checkpoints (where they verify your documents) if your ID is not REAL ID Compliant, you may hear the agent say “ Beginning October 2021 you will not be allowed to fly with your current ID. ”

Well, soon, the TSA Real ID requirements will mean you must have compliant identification cards for domestic air travel.

First, What Is TSA Compliant REAL ID?

Soon the TSA Will Require You to Have a Compliant ID to Fly

REAL ID is the result of congressional legislation — one of those laws enacted after 9/11. The government passed the REAL ID Act in 2005.

The Act established specific minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. REAL ID prohibits federal agencies from accepting those licenses and IDs from states that are not in compliance — more on that later. This legislation meant to eliminate potential airline terrorism by increasing the security requirements for documents that would give passengers access to airplanes.

What’s The Difference Between the Old & New TSA Compliant REAL IDs?

The new identification cards are being built with some newer, cutting-edge technology that will make them much harder to forge. Additionally, obtaining a state ID will require supplementary supporting documents that not all the states currently collect.

Why Are Many People Just Hearing About REAL ID Requirements Now?

It’s been a difficult and often contentious battle getting each of the fifty states into compliance with the new identification requirements. There have been delays and extensions since first enacted into law. In fact, it’s been nearly 15 years since the legislation passed and finally we are at a point where implementation in America’s airports is going to become a reality. All states must be in compliance by October 1, 2023. That’s why it’s important now to know what is going on.

How Can I Tell If My ID and My State Driver’s License Are TSA REAL ID Compliant?

No Star - No Fly Says TSA

Not All ID’s Are ‘REAL ID’ Compliant

Nearly all the states with issued compliant ID’s have a black or gold star on the front of the card — in the upper right hand corner with a few exceptions.

REAL ID TSA DHS Current Map United States

To complicate matters a bit, Hawaii, Tennessee and Utah are REAL ID compliant, but do not have the star identifier. You can check with your state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you’re not certain. State IDs not in compliance say “Not for Federal Identification” or “Federal Limits Apply.” You can check out the current list of compliant states on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

If My State Is On That Compliant List, Then Is My ID Compliant?

Not necessarily. You may have acquired your license before it was compliant. In that case, you need to get a new and compliant ID. If your ID doesn’t have the gold or black star in the upper right corner (and it’s not from Hawaii, Tennessee or Utah,) you should visit your DMV and check to make sure your ID is compliant, or get a new ID.

If I Have TSA PreCheck Do I Need a REAL ID?

Yes, although TSA PreCheck is a great benefit to have, it will not prevent you from having to present a compliant ID to pass through a TSA security checkpoint and board a flight.

With the popularity of credit cards that include PreCheck, membership has increased overall.

If you want to get free TSA PreCheck, these credit cards include Global Entry and TSA PreCheck reimbursement, among other benefits:

  • The Platinum Card from American Express
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Card

What Happens If I Ignore This and Try to Fly With a Non-Compliant ID?

REAL ID Non-Compliant ID's will be denied boarding

You won’t fly.  Even if you have another state government issued ID, the TSA has made it quite clear that anyone who fails to present a REAL ID compliant ID will not be allowed to pass through a TSA checkpoint and board an airplane after October 1, 2023. In that case, you’ll need a passport or passport card to fly domestically.

It is up to you, the traveler, to know if your ID is compliant and to make efforts to ensure you have an acceptable ID for travel. Take steps now. You still have several months before the October 1, 2023 deadline to get the proper ID from your DMV.

Will There Be Any More Extensions?

Hey, we are talking about the US government, so anything’s possible. There have been a lot of delays and extensions as I mentioned.

But don’t count on any more as we are down to the ‘eleventh hour’ on full implementation of the REAL ID requirements. There are some real issues with getting some states to issue the REAL ID cards. For example, Alaska and California were granted an extension for the dates they must begin issuing the cards, but that does not change the TSA’s October 1, 2021 deadline for travel. If your state has been granted such an extension, you should check back often on when exactly they will issue the new ID’s.

Here is the latest extension information, provided by Department of Homeland Security

* indicates state is issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and IDs

What Should You Do Right Now?

If you do not have REAL ID compliant license, you should first check to see if your state is already compliant.

Here’s a graphic to help you see where your state might fall in the requirements, provided by the TSA (but this is subject to change)

TSA DHS REAL ID Graphic

Timeline of REAL ID TSA Air Travel Requirements

If your state is compliant, you should check to see if your ID is compliant. If not, make the effort to get yourself a new ID. You probably will have to produce a verified copy of your original birth certificate and proof of a valid Social Security number to meet your state’s identification requirements.

If your state is not compliant, then contact your DMV to find out when they expect to be compliant. You’ve got some time, but make a plan to get your compliant ID. Remember, the TSA will not be enforcing these new rules until October 1, 2023.

“Homeland Security established some guidelines for all 50 states to abide by,” Secretary of State Jesse White said in May. Here’s the TSA’s checklist to get a Real ID: https://realid.ilsos.gov/checklist.html .

In addition the Secretary of State’s website  has more information on the Real ID.

Start Early, Beat the Rush to Get Your TSA REAL ID

My suggestion is to start the process of getting a new ID early. Even if you don’t fly often, or don’t plan to fly in the foreseeable future, I still suggest you get a compliant ID. You never know if something might come up that required you to travel. If that happened, you wouldn’t want to be ‘grounded’ because you didn’t have proper identification.

States are making the efforts to be federally compliant and they understand that every resident will eventually need one. They are making the effort to get this done in time. But don’t delay; the rush is sure to be ugly as October 2023 approaches. I am imagining throngs of people descending upon their local DMV offices at the last moment once they realize they will be denied by the TSA if they don’t have a REAL ID compliant license (or ID card.)

Some Additional Questions Answered

Do i need a tsa compliant id to vote.

No. The REAL ID requirements neither affect voter access nor voter registration processes.

What About International Travel?

REAL ID has no effect on the requirements for international travel. Every passenger still is required to have a valid passport for international travel. You will still need your passport to leave the country.

I know there has been a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding the new TSA REAL ID air travel requirements. Please let me know in the comments section if you have any additional questions.

What About the Trusted Traveler Program, or Global Entry?

Technically, the Real ID technically is not mandatory because passengers may instead use other approved documents. This includes a passport, passport card, U.S. military ID, Enhanced ID (offered in some states) or an ID from the federal government’s Trusted Traveler Program, such as a Global Entry card.

The REAL ID Final Review

REAL ID Air Travel Requirements 2023 Twitter

REAL ID’s will be required of all air passengers soon. October 2023 is the latest deadline set by the federal government. Beginning on October 1, 2023 , every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another  acceptable form of ID  to fly within the United States.

If you have more questions, please ask away in the comments below:

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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Miles Jackson

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Washington state is a loser. They wanted to help illegal aliens so the DL is NOT compliant. However, they got around the law saying you can buy a more expensive “enhanced driver’s license”. Many states issue DL that are compliant but not Washington state.

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Just get a passport. If you want less bulk for domestic flights, get a passport card. Works not only in US airports but all airports.

John, Great suggestion for travelers. The cost is $65 for adults (for the passport card alone.) A new US passport will run you $145 (renewal $110.) SO, if you were getting your passport for the first time ($145) and a passport card with it ($65) expect it to cost $210. Then pull out your passport card like a credit card from you wallet, billfold, purse or travel document carrier.

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If you purchase a Compliant License could you then use the TSA Precheck line?

ZDENKO- No, sorry. One does not get TSA PreCheck without going through a separate process. But you’ll need a compliant ID to get through security either way.

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My drivers license does not expire for another 4 years. It will cost $40 to get the enhanced one. Can I apply for a real ID for $10 and will that work to fly. I am on a fixed budget and cannot throw away money when not necessary.

Hi Gary C- Unfortunately no. You will be required to get a new driver’s license issued by your state (at whatever cost that is set by them.) The $10 is a surcharge added onto (in most jurisdictions) the standard cost for your driver’s license. You are forced to get a completely new identification (in this case, driver’s license) that complies with the REAL ID requirements.

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Ohio does, in fact, offer a compliant license with white star encased in a black circle, next to a gold version of the state of Ohio. I got one in April of 2019.

Hi Mike M- Thanks for the comment. I’ve verified with the DHS website and updated the article to reflect that Ohio does have a REAL ID with a white star within a black circle, as you mentioned. Thanks for that!

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Your link points to sgn archived DHS webpage.

Hi Debit – Thanks for that catch. Guess the government doesn’t maintain that list anymore. However, I have updated the post with the current map as well as new link provided by the Department of Homeland Security for the latest information on States’ compliance with the new REAL ID requirements. Thanks for reading!

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How are they going to deal with people whose Real ID is lost/stolen at the destination? This could be particularly problematic if the destination (or the home state/territory) is not in the 48 contiguous states.

T- That’s a great question and one that has come a few times in my research. However, no one seems to have a definitive answer and it will probably vary greatly for each issuing State. Bottom line is it will definitely be a huge problem if someone doesn’t have a backup (i.e. passport) identification so they could board a returning flight. Thanks for your input!

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I read recently that Global Entry is also acceptable. Can you verify this?

Hi Jeanie- There are a lot of misunderstandings and mis-facts about REAL ID. Those who do not plan to fly after Sept. 30, 2020, can continue to use their current state-issued driver’s license until it expires. So can air travelers who have a valid U.S. passport or passport card, a military ID, a DHS Global Entry card, a permanent resident card or a passport issued by a foreign government.

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Question are TWIC cards, which provide a Known Traveler ID going to be acceptable?

Stephen- Yes, Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC®) are accepted under the REAL ID program!

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Do you need to participate in the Trusted Traveler Program if you have a Real ID?

Carl- No, you do not need to participate in the Trusted Traveler Program if you have a Real ID. In fact, it also works the other way. If you have an ID in the Trusted Traveler Program (like Global Entry) you can use that ID as your REAL ID. Hopefully, that makes sense. Thanks for the question, which I know may help other readers.

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How to get a REAL ID and use it for travel

The REAL ID Act is a law that sets higher security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards (IDs).

Why upgrade your license to a REAL ID?

Beginning May 7, 2025, if you have not upgraded your driver’s license or state-issued ID to be REAL ID-compliant, you will not be able to use it to:

  • Board federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Access federal government facilities or military installations
  • Enter nuclear power plants

Visit the REAL ID website for more details and frequently asked questions .

Check to see if your license or state ID is already REAL ID-compliant

If your driver's license or state ID has a star in the upper right-hand corner, it is already REAL-ID-compliant. There is nothing more you need to do.

How to get a REAL ID

When you apply for or renew your driver’s license or state identification card, you can choose to make it REAL ID-compliant. Find and visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to see what documentation you will need. Your new card will have the REAL ID star marking at the top right.

Using REAL ID and other ID options to board a plane

If you do not upgrade your license or state ID, you can use a passport or one of these other acceptable forms of identification to fly . 

Can you still get a non-REAL ID-compliant license or state ID?

You will still be able to get a driver's license or state ID card that is not REAL ID-compliant. But you will not be able to use it for air travel or to get into federal facilities or military installations. Find and visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to see how to get a non-REAL ID-compliant license or state ID.

LAST UPDATED: December 18, 2023

Have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They will get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

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Still need a Real ID? Here's everything you need to know about the new deadline

tsa travel id deadline

If you still don't have the travel-compliant Real ID, you can move that item down your to-do list. The countdown clock has reset because of the coronavirus pandemic , giving you another year to get yourself a compliant ID before the new deadline of Oct. 1, 2021 .

The original Oct. 1, 2020, deadline  was supposed to mark the completion of the final phase of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which Congress passed on recommendation from the 9/11 Commission  after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. That act aims to provide "minimum security standards" for the issuance of identification nationwide. It requires Americans to have a compliant ID to board U.S. domestic flights. (A passport has and will continue to be required for international flights.)

But the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed that plan. On March 26, Acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf announced that the department would delay the requirement to have a Real ID to board domestic flights in the United States. .

What if my driver's license is about to expire?

Some states have extended the expiration of driver's licenses amid the coronavirus pandemic, so check with your state's driver’s license agency. 

Learn more: Best travel insurance

What happens if I try to fly with an expired license?

If your license expired after March 1, 2020, and you've been unable to get it renewed, don't worry. The Transportation Security Administration states on its website that it will accept licenses for up to a year after expiration.

How do I know if I have a Real ID-compliant license?

Here's how you do it: Look at your driver's license or state ID. If you see a gold star in the upper right corner, your ID is likely compliant, though the TSA notes that legacy Ohio driver’s licenses have a gold star marking on the card, and Real ID-compliant Ohio driver’s licenses have a black cut-out star instead. If you aren't sure whether your card is compliant, contact your state's driver’s license agency.

If you do not see a star, then you'll need to either get a new ID or use another TSA- approved form of identification, such as a passport, passport card or military ID, when you fly after Oct. 1, 2021.

Where do I get a Real ID?

The Department of Homeland Security's Real ID website  has state-by-state information. But make sure you check with your state's issuing agency for up-to-date information on hours, whether you need to make an appointment and any other COVID-19 protocols.

What documents to you need when you get your Real ID?

In the meantime, you can start collecting the documents you need to get your Real ID. You need four documents to obtain one. These include:

1. Proof of identity

Bring ONE of the following items:

  • Certified birth certificate
  • U.S. passport
  • Passport card

2. Proof of Social Security number

Bring ONE of the following items:

  • Social Security card

3. Proof of residency

Bring TWO of these showing your current address:

  • Utility bill 
  • Credit card statement
  • Bank statement
  • Insurance policy

What about my kids?

The TSA does not require IDs for children younger than 18 if they are traveling with an adult within the United States. However, the agency recommends checking with your airline for its specific requirements. 

How much does it cost?

It varies by state. Check with your state's driver’s license agency.

Can I use another form of ID?

According to the  TSA website , you can show any of the following to board a domestic flight in the United States after Oct. 1, 2021:  

  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, Nexus, Sentri, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued enhanced driver's license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employment authorization card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner credential

You can connect with Arizona Republic Consumer Travel Reporter Melissa Yeager through email at [email protected] . You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram . 

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You’ve Got to Be Kidding! Real ID Deadline for Domestic Fliers Is Extended. Again.

After years of delays, security-enhanced driver’s licenses and other updated identification requirements were set to be mandatory next spring. Now the government is giving you another two years.

Passengers, some wearing masks, stand in a cordoned off security line at an airport.

By Debra Kamin

The 2005 Real ID Act , which mandates that U.S. travelers must carry more than a standard driver’s license to board a domestic flight, was set to go into effect on May 3, 2023 . But on Monday, after some 15 years of delays, the Department of Homeland Security pushed the deadline for enforcement by an additional 24 months. Travelers now have until May 7, 2025, to update their documents.

The Real ID Act is a post-Sept. 11 law that requires U.S. travelers flying within the United States to show Transportation Security Administration agents either a security-enhanced driver’s license or another T.S.A.-approved form of identification like a passport. When the act eventually goes into effect, a state driver’s license that does not contain a Real ID seal will no longer be accepted at airport security checkpoints across the country.

Congress passed the Real ID Act after finding that nearly all of the hijackers who boarded commercial planes on Sept. 11, 2001, were carrying U.S. driver’s licenses and state IDs, and that most of those documents had been obtained fraudulently. The act, which sets minimum standards for driver’s licenses and other types of identification cards, was initially intended to take effect in 2008. It has been extended multiple times, including twice during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The most recent rollout has been marked by confusion. While Real IDs show the applicant has been screened and approved by federal standards, the cards are issued by individual states, U.S. territories (except for American Samoa, which is under review) and the District of Columbia. Processes for applying vary from state to state, and the physical look of the card varies, too: Real ID cards are marked by a star, but its placement is inconsistent.

In some states, including New York, Michigan and Minnesota, residents have the alternative option to apply for an Enhanced Driver’s License, which is Real ID-compliant but is marked not by a star but a flag. Unlike Real IDs, E.D.L.s can also be used for travel to and from the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries in lieu of a passport.

And in Washington State, residents can only apply for an E.D.L. The standard Real ID license isn’t available at all.

This time around, it seemed the deadline for May 3, 2023, was going to stick, and state motor vehicle departments rolled out marketing campaigns to encourage residents to change their documents in time. In many states, the switch to Real IDs requires a fee.

But this month, federal authorities determined that not enough citizens were ready for the change, said Dan Velez, the New England spokesman for the T.S.A., and made the decision to extend the deadline two more years.

“Real ID progress over the past two years has been significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies,” Mr. Velez said. “The extension is necessary to give states the needed time to ensure their residents obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card.”

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram , Twitter and Facebook . And sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to receive expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places for a Changed World for 2022.

Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .

Mumbai:  Spend 36 hours in this fast-changing Indian city  by exploring ancient caves, catching a concert in a former textile mill and feasting on mangoes.

Kyoto:  The Japanese city’s dry gardens offer spots for quiet contemplation  in an increasingly overtouristed destination.

Iceland:  The country markets itself as a destination to see the northern lights. But they can be elusive, as one writer recently found .

Texas:  Canoeing the Rio Grande near Big Bend National Park can be magical. But as the river dries, it’s getting harder to find where a boat will actually float .

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  • News Archive

TSA Reminds Travelers of REAL ID Identification Requirements

Archived content.

Transportation Security Administration Public Affairs 571-227-2829 [email protected]

Enforcement begins in 18 months at all U.S. airport checkpoints

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration is reminding travelers that beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport security checkpoint process when the REAL ID Act goes into full enforcement .

“TSA is doing everything we can to prepare our partners and the traveling public for the REAL ID deadline next year,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “The security requirements of the REAL ID Act will dramatically enhance and improve commercial aviation security.”

Travelers will begin seeing new signs at airports [Link no longer valid, https://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/realid_sign.pdf] nationwide in the coming weeks to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.

REAL ID-compliant licenses are generally marked by a star on the top of the card. Travelers who are not sure if their ID is compliant should check with their state driver’s license agency.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act complies with the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as at airport security checkpoints. The regulations established the deadline of October 1, 2020, to ensure full enforcement of the REAL ID Act by that date. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver's license today than before the passage of the Act.

For more information about flying with a REAL ID and to download and print informational materials, visit tsa.gov/real-id .

  • Preventing Terrorism and Targeted Violence
  • REAL ID Act of 2005
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Be REAL ID Ready!

Deadline: May 7, 2025

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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) remind passengers how to properly travel with firearms

tsa travel id deadline

IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO - The Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) want to remind passengers that firearms should not travel in carry-on baggage.

So far this year, TSA officers have found five firearms - all of them loaded - during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on luggage at IDA’s security checkpoint. This compares to three firearm discoveries by TSA officers at IDA in all of 2023.

The most recent firearm discovery occurred Tuesday, March 26 around 11:20 a.m. at IDA. TSA officers detected a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard handgun in the carry-on bag of a female traveler ticketed for travel to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

All travelers must understand that firearms are strictly prohibited in carry-on luggage. Failure to comply with this regulation can result in severe consequences, including legal action and potential arrest.

“As the busy travel season approaches, Idaho Falls Regional Airport anticipates a significant surge in passenger traffic,” said Idaho Falls Regional Airport Director Ian Turner. “Each traveler's priority is reaching their destination safely and promptly. However, amidst the excitement of travel, it's crucial to remember to check your luggage before heading to the airport.”

When a TSA officer sees the image of a firearm on the X-ray screen, TSA immediately notifies the local airport law enforcement agency, which responds to the security checkpoint. A law enforcement officer removes the firearm from the X-ray tunnel and removes the traveler from the security checkpoint. What happens to the firearm and the traveler is up to the discretion of the airport law enforcement agency.

TSA can impose a fine of up to nearly $15,000 for violations, and attempting to pass through a checkpoint with a firearm can incur hefty penalties and disrupt or entirely spoil travel plans.

“Any traveler who brings a firearm in carry-on luggage to the checkpoint will find out very quickly that this is an expensive and inconvenient mistake. Not only will the traveler be delayed as they speak with a law enforcement officer, but TSA will levy a heft civil penalty against the  traveler for their actions,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Idaho Andy Coose. “Travelers who bring a firearm to the checkpoint will not be eligible for TSA PreCheck® screening and, furthermore, they will receive enhanced screening to ensure that they don’t further pose a security threat. There is no upside to bringing a firearm in carry-on luggage to the airport.”

Among the factors TSA considers when determining the civil penalty amount include whether the firearm was loaded and whether there was accessible ammunition. Even if a traveler has a concealed weapons permit, firearms are not permitted in carry-on luggage.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage only if they are unloaded and packed in a hard-sided, locked case. The locked case should be placed in a checked bag and declared to the airline at the ticket counter. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

In 2023, TSA officers discovered 6,737 firearms in carry-on luggage at 262 different airports including four airports in Idaho. In addition to IDA, those airports where firearms were detected were Boise Airport; Friedman Memorial Airport and Pocatello Regional Airport.

IMAGES

  1. REAL ID Act: Requirements, State Deadlines & Updates [2023]

    tsa travel id deadline

  2. TSA Real ID FAQs: A Complete Guide To Requirements

    tsa travel id deadline

  3. TSA Real ID FAQs: A Complete Guide To Requirements

    tsa travel id deadline

  4. REAL ID deadline: TSA urges consumers to change identification as

    tsa travel id deadline

  5. Do i need a real id to fly in 2023?

    tsa travel id deadline

  6. TSA warns air travelers that the Real ID deadline will be here before

    tsa travel id deadline

COMMENTS

  1. Acceptable Identification at the TSA Checkpoint

    TSA currently accepts expired driver's licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration. DHS has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to May 7, 2025. Learn more about REAL ID on TSA's REAL ID webpage. Children. TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling within the United States.

  2. REAL ID

    Are you REAL ID ready? On May 7, 2025, U.S. travelers must be REAL ID compliant to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities. Find out if you're REAL ID ready with our interactive tool! Are you planning to fly domestically or visit a Federal facility after May 7, 2025? Yes / Don't Know.

  3. DHS announces extension of REAL ID full enforcement deadline

    Under the new regulations, beginning May 7, 2025, every traveler 18 years of age or older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver's license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel. Since enactment of the REAL ID Act ...

  4. Deadline for REAL ID extended, giving US air travelers a reprieve

    But they will be delayed another two years until May 7, 2025. That's another 883 days away. Once the new deadline is reached, US travelers 18 and older and taking domestic commercial flights in ...

  5. DHS Announces Extension of REAL ID Full Enforcement Deadline

    Release Date: April 27, 2021. WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  6. New York residents reminded to get their REAL ID to board an airplane

    NEW YORK — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the REAL ID enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025, giving travelers additional time to ensure they have driver's licenses or identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act.

  7. Real ID deadline for air travel extended another two years

    The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it is extending the deadline to require Real ID-compliant identification for air travelers, pushing the start date from May 3, 2023, to ...

  8. The Real ID Deadline Has Been Pushed to 2025

    December 5, 2022. Derek Croucher. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would once again push back the deadline to acquire a Real ID—a new and enhanced form of ...

  9. Real ID deadline for air travelers extended by 2 years

    Air travelers will now have two more years to upgrade their licenses and other forms of identification to be Real ID-compliant . The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday the new ...

  10. Department of Homeland Security pushes REAL ID deadline to 2023

    Every domestic air traveler 18 and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver's license or another TSA-acceptable form of ...

  11. Don't panic! The Real ID deadline isn't until 2023

    You will usually need to present four things to obtain a Real ID, but it could vary by state. 1. Proof of identity. Bring ONE of the following: Passport card. 2. Your Social Security number. In ...

  12. Americans get another reprieve on a new ID requirement to fly

    DHS announced Tuesday it is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023. Once enforcement is in effect, travelers age 18 and older flying ...

  13. Are You REAL ID Ready?

    On May 7, 2025, U.S. travelers must be REAL ID compliant to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities. Find out if you're REAL ID ready with our interactive tool, or select your state or territory! Are you planning to fly domestically or visit a Federal facility after May 7, 2025? Yes / Don't Know. No.

  14. TSA Real ID FAQs: A Complete Guide To Requirements

    REAL ID's will be required of all air passengers soon. October 2023 is the latest deadline set by the federal government. Beginning on October 1, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, state-issued enhanced driver's license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the ...

  15. The REAL ID deadline is one year away on May 3, 2023

    Enforcement was delayed several times, most recently in April 2021 when Homeland Security pushed the deadline back to May 3, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When it announced the latest ...

  16. How to get a REAL ID and use it for travel

    How to get a REAL ID. When you apply for or renew your driver's license or state identification card, you can choose to make it REAL ID-compliant. Find and visit your state's driver's licensing agency website to see what documentation you will need. Your new card will have the REAL ID star marking at the top right.

  17. Real ID: New deadline is in 2021; what to bring to get a new license

    The countdown clock has reset because of the coronavirus pandemic, giving you another year to get yourself a compliant ID before the new deadline of Oct. 1, 2021. The original Oct. 1, 2020 ...

  18. Domestic Fliers Will Need Real ID Compliant Identification in 2023

    Beginning May 3, 2023, U.S. travelers flying within the United States will need to show Transportation Security Administration agents either a security-enhanced driver's license that's Real ID ...

  19. Travelers flying out of New Jersey and New York will soon need a REAL

    Transportation Security Administration officers who staff the ticket document checking station at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a REAL ID-compliant license or another form of acceptable ID after May 2023, because of the federal law (The REAL ID Act of 2005) that mandates that a REAL ID is needed for federal purposes.

  20. DHS Announces Extension of REAL ID Full Enforcement Deadline

    WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has significantly impacted states' ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses ...

  21. Real ID Deadline for Domestic Fliers is Extended. Again.

    Dec. 5, 2022. The 2005 Real ID Act, which mandates that U.S. travelers must carry more than a standard driver's license to board a domestic flight, was set to go into effect on May 3, 2023. But ...

  22. TSA reminds travelers of REAL ID identification requirements

    WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration is reminding travelers that beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the ...

  23. TSA Reminds Travelers of REAL ID Identification Requirements

    The Transportation Security Administration is reminding travelers that beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport ...

  24. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Idaho Falls Regional

    The most recent firearm discovery occurred Tuesday, March 26 around 11:20 a.m. at IDA. TSA officers detected a Smith & Wesson M&P Bodyguard handgun in the carry-on bag of a female traveler ticketed for travel to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. All travelers must understand that firearms are strictly prohibited in carry-on luggage.