In just over a year, U.S. domestic air travelers age 18 or older must provide a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable form of identification to fly within the states. The regulation, taking effect Oct. 1, 2020, enacts the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”
For a driver’s license or identification card to be REAL ID compliant, the state issuing it must have taken 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.
What this means to business travelers:
U.S. domestic passengers will be required to:
- Show a driver’s license issued by a state that is compliant with the REAL ID Act or has been granted an extension.
- OR show an alternative form of acceptable identification (passport, Global Entry card, U.S. military ID, airline- or airport-issued ID and more).
Federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will not accept non-compliant licenses and identification cards after Oct. 1, 2020.
How to tell if your ID is compliant
REAL-ID compliant identification cards generally feature a star on the top of the card. State driver’s license agencies can help with verifying compliance and obtaining proper identification.
Want business travel updates and insights delivered right to your inbox? Subscribe to the Move newsletter, available in multiple languages.