Real ID Deadline Extended to October 2021

Real ID Deadline

Real ID Deadline Extended to October 2021

If you haven’t updated your license to the new Real ID version, don’t worry about it. You will have plenty of time to do so. The Department of Homeland Security has delayed the Real ID enforcement deadline for another 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic. All 50 states have an extension, which means passengers can continue to use their current driver’s licenses as usual for domestic travel.

The REAL ID enforcement deadline was originally set on October 1, 2020. But with the 12 month extension, the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021.

Beginning October 1, 2021, 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, the DHS says in its announcement. REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card.

Most states already offer compliant IDs, expect for Oregon and Oklahoma. But many people still have the older versions and will have to pay to get new IDs. The rollout of Real IDs is the final phase of an act passed by Congress in 2005, in the wake of 9/11 which raised security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses.

Acceptable Identification

Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel. These are the options listed om the DHS website:

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (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

The following are not acceptable:

  • Weapon permit
  • Temporary driver’s license is not an acceptable form of identification

TSA and most airlines do not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling within the United States with an adult companion who has acceptable identification. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

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