Can You Fly Domestic With Your ID?

The quick answer to the title is, “Yes, for now”, so there’s nothing to get worried about, Unless you’re in the US territories of American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands, but more on that later. This whole issue is related to the The Real ID Act. It was passed by Congress in 2005 to prevent identity fraud, and starting on Oct. 1, 2020, all fliers who reside in the United States, even if they’re flying domestically, will need Real ID identification to pass through Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints at airports.

Fly Domestic With Your ID

Right now the Real ID Act doesn’t really affect many people. About half the states  already have compliant IDs and the rest have filed and have been granted extensions until Oct. 10, 2018. On Jan. 22, however, residents of two United States territories, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands, could be the subject of Real ID enforcement because they are still under review to get extensions. You can check the status in your state here. But as of Oct. 1, 2020, the T.S.A. will ask all travelers to have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or alternate acceptable identification to fly domestically. Travelers won’t be able to pass through security without this acceptable identification.

To get a Real ID-compliant license, residents must physically go to a D.M.V. office with their identification documents such as a birth certificate and passport. The Department of Homeland Security has designated more than a dozen forms of acceptable ID for air travel, including a passport; a border ID card; a trusted traveler card, such as Global Entry; a Real ID-compliant driver’s license; and a permanent resident card. You can see the full list here.

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