Southwest plane at San Antonio airport

Real ID – What You Need To Know For 2018 Travel

On January 22, 2018 the Real ID Act moves into its next phase. But it won’t affect any of your planned convention travel for the first half of the year.

The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. – Department of Homeland Security

It impacts anyone wishing to enter a Federal facility, nuclear power plant, or board a plane.

DHS granted an extension to half the states, which will last until October 10, 2018. So until then nothing will change for anyone.

State Real ID Requirement – January 22, 2018

If you live in a compliant state and have a state issued ID (including driver’s license) then you are good to go. Nothing will change for you until October 2020 (see below).

If you live in a non-compliant state you are covered until the October 10, 2018 extension. You will want to follow up on this issue later if you have travel plans after the extension deadline.

Real ID Compliant States

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Maryland
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
Ohio
South Dakota
Tennessee
Utah
Vermont
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Real ID Non-Compliant States

Alaska
American Samoa
California
Guam
Idaho
Illinois
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Montana
North Marianas
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Texas
Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington

Children under the age of 18 will not be required to have a Real ID, provided they are traveling with an adult. The adult will need to meet Real ID requirements.

International travelers are not affected by the Real ID Act. You will continue to use your passport as an accepted ID while in the U.S.

State Real ID Requirement Extension Deadline – October 10, 2018

We aren’t sure what will happen at the extension deadline. If all states/territories are compliant then there is no change until 2020. If some states/territories are not compliant then it depends on what the DHS does.

I will post an update post as we approach the deadline. You can also visit DHS’s Real ID site for updates.

Individual Real ID Requirement – October 1, 2020

On October 1, 2020 you will need to have a Real ID compliant ID to board a domestic flight.

If your driver’s license has a gold star on it then it is Real ID compliant and you are good to go.

The next time you need to renew your driver’s licence, check with your DMV to meet their requirements for a Real ID. More proof of identity and residency are required.

You can get a passport card, instead. It is a national ID card and is Real ID compliant. You can order it alone or alongside a full passport/passport renewal. It’ll work for domestic flights. A full passport is still required for international flights.