What Is A Real ID? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Credit: John Paul Van Wert


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced a new deadline for implementing Real ID requirements: On Oct. 1, 2021, U.S. travelers must be Real ID-compliant to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities with only a license.

The extended deadline should allow the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to accommodate backlog due to coronavirus-related closures and capacity limits. It will also allow the department to implement a plan to expedite the issuance of Real IDs once the current crisis is over.

If you’ve traveled through a U.S. airport any time in the last few years, you may have noticed signs near the security checkpoint reminding passengers about this upcoming change to photo ID requirements as a part of the Real ID Act. The law was originally intended to go into effect on Oct. 1, 2020, but former President Donald Trump extended that deadline 12 months due to the pandemic.

There’s been a lot of confusion about what the Real ID Act entails, who it affects and what you need to do before hitting the road. So, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Real ID requirement to ensure your travels go smoothly.

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