What is a REAL ID?

It is any form of identification that complies with the 2005 REAL ID Act. Administered by the Department of Homeland Security, it “established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and other identification cards”. Additionally, it prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes any licenses or identification cards from states that do not comply with those standards. Included in the list of “official purposes” are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants

Restriction to the above activities was slated to take effect on October 1, 2020. However, due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline.

The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 3, 2023.

What does it mean for our BKG travelers?

If you do not have REAL ID-compliant identification after May 3, 2023, you will be required to show your old state ID card, plus other forms of documentation. For more information, please visit the TSA REAL ID webpage or the DHS REAL ID page.

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