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Is Your ID Approved For Travel? TSA Promotes REAL ID Campaign Ahead Of 2020 Deadline

By Victoria M. Walker

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Do you have a REAL ID? If not, you should get one before the fall of next year, or you may not be able to fly domestically.

Beginning October 1, 2020, the REAL ID Act, which requires all travelers to have a driver’s license or identification card that meet the “minimum standards” set by the Department of Homeland Security, will go into effect.

Ahead of that deadline, DHS is ramping up its campaign to get people to update their identification cards, so they are REAL compliant. TSA will begin posting signs reminding travelers to update their IDs if they have not done so. Individuals who have not updated their ID cards will not be able to go through the security checkpoint.

According to the DHS, “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.”

“TSA is doing everything we can to prepare our partners and the traveling public for the REAL ID deadline next year,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a statement released April 4. “The security requirements of the REAL ID Act will dramatically enhance and improve commercial aviation security.”

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005. The act complies with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses,” according to TSA.


According to data from the TSA, 42 states are already REAL compliant. Seven states were granted an extension, and California is under review.

Not sure if your ID is REAL compliant? You can tell if it is by checking to see if there’s a star on the top of the card.

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Victoria M. Walker

Victoria M. Walker is an award-winning multimedia journalist and full-time lecturer in the Department of Media, Journalism, and Film at her alma mater, Howard University. She was previously the breaking news and viral content video editor at The Washington Post.

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