Do you have questions about the REAL ID? We have real answers.
For starters, here's what REAL ID is and how it came to be. In 2005, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) passed the REAL ID Act to improve travel security. The law has since protected air travel, airport security checks, and other federal facilities such as nuclear power plants and military bases with enhanced security measures.
As part of the REAL ID regulations, you may have recently heard about REAL ID cards. Starting this fall, it will be helpful for you and your adult family members to apply for and obtain REAL domestic travel IDs. But what are the cards? What can they do? And what safety tips should you take into account? We have collected all the answers for you.
Do I need a REAL ID for future trips?
Yes and no. If you don't get your REAL ID, you will need another qualifying federal document, such as a passport, Global Entry card, US Military ID, or Enhanced ID when traveling inland after October 1, 2021. Note: A driver's license is no longer validly accepted for travel in the US.
What is the ID deadline?
Mark your calendar, the effective date of REAL ID is October 1, 2021. From that date, individuals and families will be required to either obtain REAL IDs or carry other accepted documentation when traveling inland.
How can I apply?
You can apply for a REAL ID card at your state's driver's license office or the local Department of Motor Vehicles. Here's what to bring:
- Your birth certificate or passport
- A Social Security card or tax form such as a W-2
- Two proofs of address
- If you were recently married and changed your name, you must also bring your marriage certificate.
What safety tips should I keep in mind?
- You can only submit an application in person. REAL IDs cannot be obtained online or by mail. If you receive messages telling you otherwise, ignore these claims and never hand over important documentation. You must visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles to apply.
- REAL ID cards are marked with a gold star at the top. Look for the mark on yours to make sure it complies with regulations before you travel. If you're unsure, check with your state's driver's license agency.
- Mandates vary by state. Make sure to research yours so you are well versed in safety and steps. Check out your state's regulations here: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id
Curious about REAL ID or other security measures to protect yourself against fraud, scams and travel theft? We partner with CyberScout® to protect members from many cyber threats. Talk to a local independent agent about this protection and coverage today.