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The Latest on REAL ID

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security has issued an extension of the deadline for REAL ID— the new deadline is October 1, 2021.


After nearly 12 years of delays and state extensions, the final part of the REAL ID act of 2005 is about to take effect. As of now, 47 states are in compliance, and the remaining three (New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Oregon) have deadlines on or before October 1, 2020.  

Beginning October 1, 2020, all passengers who wish to use their drivers' licenses as identifcation to pass through airport TSA checkpoints must present a REAL ID-compliant  license.

Aren't sure if your license is REAL ID-compliant?

Check the top-right corner of your current driver's license. If you see a star, it is REAL ID-compliant. If yours does not have a star, visit your state's department of motor vehicles website for details on how to obtain an updated license. State websites provide details on the doocumentation you must provide, and many offer appointments, so you can (hopefully) avoid the hassle of long lines. 

Don't wait till the last minute! States expect a surge in demand at the end of summer right up through October 1st and beyond. 

Also, note that REAL ID licenses are not transferable between states—if you move permanently to a different state, you will have to visit your new state's DMV with the proper documentation to recieve a valid REAL ID-compliant driver's license.