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What Travelers Need to Know About: REAL ID

By Phylicia Sierer on March 20, 2017 4:00 AM

Topics: Uncategorized

The signs are up and the deadlines are real, but do you know where your state stands in relation to the REAL ID Act?

Each state is different and are working through compliance with the REAL ID Act in their own unique ways. This is exactly why things can get a bit complex. Understanding the differences from a completely compliant state, to a noncompliant state with a full extension can get tricky as states are constantly changing status.

We figured what better way to get a full grip on the ins and outs of REAL ID than to go to directly to the source.  That’s why, last week World Travel, Inc. and the TSA recently hosted a webinar about this topic. Don’t worry if you missed it; we have provided the full recording along with the top 10 questions that were asked in this blog.

Top 10 Questions from our TSA REAL ID Webinar


Q: Can we get a copy of the presentation anywhere?

A: Yes! The full recording can be accessed here and the presentation is available for download here.


Q: Where can I get the most up-to-date information on REAL ID?

A: Travelers can check DHS’s REAL ID webpage at any time to learn if your state is compliant and can check with your state’s agency that issues driver’s licenses about how to acquire a compliant license.


Q: Has there been an increase in Passport requests?

A: Yes, many travelers are getting ahead of their states and electing to get a passport, or passport card, to ensure they will be able to travel in 2020.


Q: If you are in a noncompliant state and flying out of a compliant state, will your license be accepted?

A: REAL ID does not apply to which state you are flying in and out of. It applies to the state in which your license was issued. So if you have a Washington license (currently noncompliant) and you are flying to Nevada (compliant) the rules would apply to your noncompliant license.


Q: Can you confirm that TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry are considered acceptable?

A: The answer here is a bit tricky. Global Entry provides and actual ID, so it will be accepted. Pre-Check currently does not issue an ID, TSA and DHS are working on ways to ensure all travelers with Pre-Check will still be able to enjoy these benefits.


Q: If my state is not compliant and does not have an extension, can they still be granted an extension?

A: Yes, DHS is continuing to provide extensions, as warranted. Extensions are granted for a maximum of one year and may be renewed if a state demonstrates continued progress towards compliance.


Q: If my state is noncompliant, is a passport my only other option?

A: No. TSA currently accepts several other forms of identity documents and will continue to do so. For more information on acceptable forms of identification for boarding aircraft, please see TSA’s website.


Q: Will minors need an ID to travel?

A: TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification.


Q:  If a traveler does not have a compliant license, will the TSA turn them away?

A: IT depends on the date of travel.

Starting January 22, 2018, travelers who do not have a license from a compliant state or a state that has been granted an extension (a complete list of non-compliant states/ territories can be found here) will be asked to provide alternate acceptable identification. If the traveler cannot provide an acceptable form of identification, they will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.

Starting October 1, 2020, every traveler will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel.


Q: Who can I contact with additional questions?

A: Additional questions may be sent to the DHS Office of State Issued Identification Support at osiis@dhs.gov.

Phylicia Sierer

Written by Phylicia Sierer