The Real ID Act: How Will It Affect Your Travel?
Have you ever used your driver’s license or state ID for identification while at the airport? If you have, that might soon be changing with the onset of the Real ID Act. This act requires each state to create compliant identification cards. If your state isn’t compliant, your driver’s license will not be sufficient to get you through airport security.
What is the Real ID Act?
Passed by Congress in 2005, the Act is intended to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” Although states will be in charge of issuing their own identification, there will be “tougher security standards related to card issuance, card design and application processing,” explains the Washington Post. But will you need this type of ID for every part of your life? The answer is no. You will only need a Real ID Act compliant ID if you are flying or if you are trying to access a federal facility.
The Real ID Act officially went into effect on January 22nd, 2018. However, many states have received an extension until October of 2018. You may see which states are compliant here. If your state is compliant, your identification will be appropriate to get you through all airports and security. It does not matter if the state you are flying to/from is compliant or not.
How Will This Affect Travel?
The Real ID Act will most likely not have an effect on your travel if you mostly use a passport as identification. However, if you are a frequent traveler living in a non-compliant state, you should look into ensuring that you have multiple forms of identification. This means it is about time to look into applying for a passport if you do not already have one. This is especially imperative if you are ever planning on traveling abroad, as you will need a passport to do so. Many international destinations require your passport to be valid for at least 6 months after your return.