Update: REAL ID marches on in U.S.

Post last updated: Dec. 5, 2017

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues moving toward its REAL ID deadline, which will affect the kinds of identification U.S. residents can use to board domestic flights. Here’s the latest:

  • On Jan. 22, 2018, all domestic U.S. air travelers will be required to:
  • More than half of U.S. states are compliant and issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet REAL ID standards. Most other states have been granted extensions by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, giving them until Oct. 10, 2018, to become compliant.
  • As of Dec. 5, 2017, only Louisiana, Michigan and New York and the U.S. territories of American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands remained under review for compliance. For now, federal agencies—including the Transportation Security Administration that conducts passenger screenings at U.S. airports—continue to accept IDs issued by these states and territories.
  • Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every U.S. resident will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification to board a domestic flight.

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress following a post-9/11 evaluation of security measures. For a driver’s license or identification card to be REAL ID compliant, the state issuing it must take steps to increase security, such as incorporating anti-counterfeit technology into the card; verifying the applicant’s identity; and conducting background checks on employees involved in issuing driver’s licenses.

For more information, check out the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID webpage or contact your BCD Travel account manager.