Traveling with a Real ID: 3 Changes to Expect
September 19th 2017 Posted by: SellMyTimeshareNow SMTN Category: Travel

If you’ve had to apply for a new license or renew your existing one recently, you’ve likely heard about the imminent arrival of the Real ID. Passed by Congress back in 2005, the Real ID Act resets the standards for state-issued forms of identification. Rules on Real ID requirements can differ depending on which state you reside in, but the jist is the same—at a certain point, you’ll need to switch to the Real ID in order to enjoy traveling.

Many questions come with the new forms of identification, that are already being heralded as a more official, more secure form of ID. We’ve done our homework to find three big changes that the new Real ID will bring, especially to the world of travel.

1. You’ll Need a Real ID to Fly

Perhaps the biggest change, soon you’ll need your new Real ID to board an airplane, even domestically. As of right now, you can still use your traditional state-issued ID to board an airplane, but as of January 22, 2018, those will no longer be accepted by TSA. You will either need a Real ID to board a plane, or you’ll need another passable form of identification, such as a passport. Some states have qualified for an extension with the TSA to push the deadline to October 1, 2020, making that the absolute deadline for those traveling domestically.

2. Enhanced Driver’s Licenses Will Continue to Be Accepted

For residents of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington, Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDLs) can still be used to cross borders under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. They can also permit you to access federal facilities. For more information on EDLs and how they can be used in the Real ID Act era, visit the DHS webpage on that issue.

3. You’ll Need a Real ID for a Few Other Things

Domestic flights aren’t the only thing that will be changed by Real ID requirements. You’ll also need it to enter federal buildings, nuclear power plants, and more. If your travel plans involve entering these types of sites or accessing military bases, be sure your state-issued ID is compliant with the new federal regulations.

Consider Applying for a Real ID to Make Travel Easier

Though many changes are coming with the arrival of Real IDs, there are some things that will remain the same. You can still register to vote with a noncompliant ID, as well as operate a vehicle, apply for federal benefits, and access hospitals and clinics. However, travel will only become more difficult without an updated form of identification.

Be sure you’re prepared to travel by applying for a Real ID. Rules and necessary documents differ by state, so be sure to reach out to your respective state office to determine particulars. For more answers on Real ID requirements, visit the DHS frequently asked questions page.


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