The Deadline for Real ID is One Year Away: What Do I Need to Know?

In order to travel on a plane or enter certain federal facilities, people need proof of identity. Typically, a regular driver’s license or passport does the job. However, the laws regarding this identification are changing. Beginning on October 1, 2020, travelers in the United States are required to have a Real ID in order to be allowed through airport security. Many people are unaware of this new change or have questions regarding it. As the change is approaching, there are a few important things to know about a Real ID and to begin your process of obtaining one.

What is Real ID?

While it is not needed until next year, the Real ID Act was passed in Congress back in 2005. The idea stemmed from the 9/11 Commission recommendation that the Federal Government set standards for issuing sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses. The new act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses. This prohibits Federal agencies from accepting identification cards that do not meet these standards for official purposes. This includes accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and more commonly, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. It is important to know that this is not an extra identification, but an upgraded driver’s license.

How Do I Get a Real ID?

Even though the Real ID is not required for another year, you do not want to wait until the last minute to receive yours. Travelers who show up at an airport as of October 2020 will not be permitted to travel through the security checkpoint, and no one wants to be stuck in this situation when they have a flight to catch. We are all well aware that lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles can get long, and there is a great deal of preparation that comes with applying for a Real ID. It is best to begin the process early. 

In order to obtain a Real ID license, you are required to prove who you are, where you live, and your social security number. In order to do this, applicants must provide documentation showing the following:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Two proofs of address of principal residence
  • Lawful status

It is important to know that children under the age of 18 are not required to have proof of identification when traveling with a companion in the United States. Therefore, they do not need Real ID at this time.

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If you or your family member needs an experienced criminal defense team to advocate on your behalf, the Rem Katcher Law Group, P.C. is here to help. Contact our firm today.