Why do you Need to get a REAL ID?

Back in 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act. This was in response to the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government would “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” Now that the deadline to make the change to a REAL ID is approaching fast, why do you need to get a REAL ID?

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the purpose of a REAL ID Act “is to make our identity documents more consistent and secure.” To better explain it, a REAL ID is a driver’s license or identification card that is also a federally accepted form of identification.

A U.S. passport is also acceptable as an alternative option if you would like to fly on a commercial aircraft or access federal facilities. U.S. passports, of course, are still required for international travel.

The REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, which prohibits federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and ID cards from states that don’t meet the standards set by the act.

These purposes include:

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

Read more: 3 steps to better travel and expense management.

When is the Deadline to get a REAL ID?

While the original deadline to get a REAL ID was Oct. 1, 2020, it was recently extended by the U.S. government due to the coronavirus situation happening in the country. Now, the deadline to get a REAL ID is Oct. 1, 2021. By then, people must have visited their state’s driver’s licensing agency and obtained a REAL ID-compliant card.

For additional information about the REAL ID Act, be sure to read through the F.A.Q. on the DHS website. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us at Fox World Travel for help getting your REAL ID ready for traveling.

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