On January of the year 2018, the U.S government is mandating a REAL ID. This means you’ll need a REAL ID in order to fly domestically, or visit military bases and/or Federal facilities.
What is REAL ID?
REAL ID can be described as a set of regulations and standards for state issued EDLs (that ‘s enhanced driver’s licenses). That said, it’s important to note that a REAL ID isn’t a national identification card, and is also not a barrier to keep undocumented immigrants from getting a driver’s license.
The main differentiator between the standard state issued driver’s license and those which comply with the REAL ID Act, is the overall level of rigor that’s required in order to obtain a ID. Applications for the REAL ID compliant licenses normally require your full legal name, your date of birth, your social security number and a relatively higher standard for showing actual proof of identity. The objective of REAL ID is to make fraudulent IDs more difficult to obtain, and the process for issuing the ID is much stricter.
Why You Need the REAL ID
In the year 2005, the REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in an effort to help make the security requirements more stringent in response to 9/11 terror attacks. The Act establishes minimum security standards for the state issued ID cards and driver’s licenses, and prohibits the Federal agencies such as TSA, from accepting forms of identification that fall below REAL ID standards.
Starting Januray 22, the year 2018, when the REAL ID Act will get enforced, driver’s licenses in 9 states will no longer be a valid form of identification at the TSA checkpoints. In case you live in the states of Oklahoma, Kentucky, Maine, Washington, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, you will need to have another acceptable form of identification in order to travel domestically. Any domestic passengers whose license isn’t REAL ID compliant, will have to use passports to travel. You’ll also need a REAL ID, if you wish to enter any federal facility, military base or nuclear facility.
If you don’t have a REAL ID-compliant license, you will need to present another additional form of acceptable identification so as to prove who you really are. If you’re trying to fly domestically, you will need to present both your passport and your driver’s license. Other acceptable alternate forms of ID (as listed on the TSA website), include;’ an EDL (that is, enhanced driver’s license), a US passport or passport card, US military ID, a government recognized passport, a trusted traveler card, and a permanent resident card.