What Texas Travelers Need To Know About REAL ID

Airplane traveling on map graphic

Updated: 03/30/2020

Are you ready for Real ID?

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will implement the final phase of REAL ID enforcement, requiring Americans to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of authenticated ID to go through airport security checkpoints.

UPDATE: The Trump administration decided on a 12-month delay extending the deadline to get a Real ID until October 1, 2021, after Departments of Motor Vehicles across the nation were forced to close as state officials took precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19, including shutting crowded places.

REAL ID refers to a set of security standards established by Congress in 2005 for card issuance, card design and application processing that individual states must follow when issuing driver’s licenses and other forms of identification; most REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses feature a star in the upper-right corner.

However, an estimated 99 million Americans (39%) do not have any form of identification (e.g. REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, U.S. passport, U.S. military ID or an enhanced driver’s license) that will be accepted after October 1, 2020. Furthermore, the majority of Americans (57%) are unaware of the October 1, 2020 deadline for enforcement. Air travel risks being seriously disrupted if millions of passengers are turned away on October 1, 2020 for not having the necessary documents to fly.

Visit Plano is working with the larger travel industry and our government partners to educate Texas travelers on REAL ID enforcement. Policy changes that allow alternative forms of authentication in place of a REAL ID at airport security checkpoints—including biometric screening and existing enrollment in Trusted Traveler Programs—can help mitigate the effects of REAL ID enforcement, while also ensuring a secure and efficient screening process.

It is our desire that all air travelers flying within the U.S. secure a REAL ID compliant form of identification well ahead of next year’s deadline in order to keep the air travel process moving without disruption.

Texas residents can learn more about REAL ID from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Residents of other states are encouraged to visit your state’s DMV website.

REAL ID enforcement is coming—let’s make sure we’re all prepared.

Graphics credit: UpgradedPoints

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