May 2025 is the REAL ID deadline for U.S. travelers

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended its REAL ID deadline until 2025. U.S. business travelers, mark your calendars for May 7, 2025. That’s the first date U.S. travelers will be required to show a REAL ID to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities in U.S.

From May 7, 2025, the DHS will require every air traveler, age 18 or older, to have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable ID to fly within the U.S.

REAL ID cards: It’s the law

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted 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 and implementing regulations establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane.

What does a REAL ID look like and where can I get one?

REAL ID cards are marked with a star at the top. A local state driver’s license agency can help you get a REAL ID compliant card.

For information by state, including where to obtain a REAL ID, visit the DHS REAL ID website and click your state on the map.

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