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Real ID Compliant License Requirement Extended Until 2021

April 22, 2020

Due to recent events, the requirement to have a Real ID – compliant driver’s licenses has been postponed by one year.

But, what exactly is a Real ID – compliant driver’s license? How do you know if you already have one? And what will happen if you try to board an airplane without one?

Real ID Compliant License Requirement Extended Until 2021

Real ID Compliant License Requirement Extended Until 2021

New ID Requirements to Fly

This requirement was set to go into effect starting October 1, 2020. Obviously, when this ruling was set, no one had any idea what was to become of this world just a few short months later.

Because of the virus, Homeland Security decided to delay this requirement for one year. If traveling is still a part of your 2020 plans, you’re in luck. You now have until October 1, 2021 to upgrade your license.

This requirement will affect everyone 18 years old and older. You will need to upgrade your license or show another acceptable form of ID if you want to fly within the United States. A valid driver’s license that has not been upgraded will no longer allow you to get you through security.

An example of a Real ID-compliant License

How do I know if my license is Real ID-compliant?

It’s actually pretty easy to see if your license has already been upgraded. If you find a star on the upper right hand side of your license, you’re all set. No further steps will need to be taken.

Enhanced licenses (those with a flag in the corner) are also considered to be Real ID – compliant. An enhanced license has a limited passport feature that allows American citizens to travel to Canada without a proper passport.

United States of America flag and Canadian flag each waving beside each other in Niagara Falls, NY.

This option isn’t available in every state. But, as a former New York resident who lived just 5 minute drive down the street from Lake Ontario, the $30 upgrade was well worth the cost.

Boys sitting on an airplane, waiting for take off

Traveling with Minors

For those of us who travel with kids, the requirements won’t change. TSA doesn’t require ID for children under 18, when they’re traveling with a companion.

However, I always travel with my sons’ birth certificates. My boys are getting older. And while we’ve never had any issues getting through security, my oldest son is 16 years old. If someone tries to question his age, I like to know that I have proof to back it up.

USA flag waving on a white metal pole

How do you get a Real ID?

Required paperwork will probably state to state. But, you’ll need to make a trip down to the DMV to show proof of identity, proof of citizenship, and proof of residency.

Documentation may include:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Current Vehicle Registration or Title
  • Current Car Insurance Statement
  • Original or certified copy of Marriage License to show name change
Girl walking into an airport with luggage

Other Types of Real ID-compliant documentation

Luckily, there are many different types of documents that are all Real ID – compliant.

If you have any of the following documentations, upgrading your license won’t be necessary.

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards
  • U.S. military ID
  • Permanent resident card
  • Federally recognized, tribal photo ID
  • Foreign government-issued passport

Additional Information

I was able to find more information regarding the Real ID and acceptable forms of ID, so I’ve made it available for download.

You can also find additional information on the TSA website and by checking your state’s website.

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