Will Your ID Work at the Airport in the Fall of 2020?

If you haven’t heard the Real ID Act began this year, which means your “old-school” driver’s license may not qualify as a valid ID at the airport. Before you book your next trip, read this article.


A Bit of History

Once the 9/11 Commission recommended stricter standards for identification required for air travel, Congress subsequently passed the REAL ID Act in 2005. The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued drivers licenses. It prohibits the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet these standards.


REAL ID Basics

Unfortunately, some states still have drivers’ licenses that are easy to counterfeit. REAL ID has a more secure and sophisticated ID design that will inhibit terrorists’ ability to create a fraudulent identification.

Please note that State DMVs will continue to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards, and there is no federal database of driver information. Each state will continue to grant its unique license and maintain its records.


What You Need to Fly

Your state driver’s license is still okay to fly. In most states, you can apply to get a compliant ID by visiting a local DMV.

By October 1, 2020, air travelers (18 and over) will need a REAL ID-compliant license. Additionally, you may use another acceptable form of ID, such as a passport for domestic air travel.


Acceptable ID’s for Flying Domestically

TSA will continue numerous forms of acceptable ID for air travel within the US, including:

  • State-issued drivers licenses or other state photo ID cards
  • US passports and passport cards
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • US military ID
  • Green Cards
  • Border Crossing Cards
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s licenses
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo IDs
  • HSPD-12 PIV cards
  • Foreign government-issued passports
  • Canadian provincial driver’s licenses or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada cards
  • Transportation worker identification credential


Do Children Need a REAL ID to Fly Within the US?

If you plan to travel within the United States, TSA does not require minors (17 or younger) to provide ID when traveling with an adult companion who has acceptable identification.

For more detail information about how to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license in New York and to determine which form of ID is right for you should visit the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website.