AAA Travel Tips / What U.S. Travelers Need to Know About Real ID

What U.S. Travelers Need to Know About Real ID
By Samantha Brown , Host of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”
November 06, 2019
Starting October 1, 2020, if you’re an American age 18 or older and traveling by air within the U.S., you will need a REAL ID. That means a REAL ID-compliant or enhanced driver’s license, U.S. passport or military ID to get through air travel security checkpoints and board your flight.
An estimated 99 million Americans (39%) do not have any form of identification that will be accepted after October 1, 2020. Furthermore, the majority of Americans (57%) are unaware of the deadline. Air travel risks being seriously disrupted if millions of passengers are turned away for not having the necessary documents to fly. Now that’s a bummer.
Do you need one if traveling within the U.S. for business? Yep.
How ‘bout on that fun girls’ weekend in Palm Springs? You bet.
Family beach vacation? Yes, yes, yes!
So if you want to fly to grandma’s house next Thanksgiving, you better get that REAL ID in your mitts. Let’s not let a little thing like an ID keep your family from ruining the holidays the old-fashioned way, with everyone drinking too much and talking politics!

Where to Get Your Real ID

Unless you plan to start using your U.S. passport for ALL flights, the DMV is where you will go to get a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license.

How Do I Know if I have a REAL ID?

REAL ID driver’s license are generally marked with a star in the upper corner of the card. Some states (MI, MN, NY, VT and WA) are issuing enhanced driver’s licenses either instead of or in addition to REAL IDs. These are generally marked with a U.S. flag. If you don’t see a star or U.S. flag on your current driver’s license, you will need to visit your state’s DMV or make sure you have another form of accepted identification.
Other forms of acceptable ID include: United States passport or passport card, U.S. military ID or DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST). TSA’s REAL ID webpage has a full list of accepted IDs.
We encourage you to check with your DMV’s website for specific details on how to obtain a REAL ID-compliant or enhanced driver’s license. Each state requires several forms of identification, and cost varies. Mitchell

How to Get Ahead of the Chaos

We’re all busy, and October of next year feels so far away. But you know how time works—the older you get, the faster it flies by. There’s no reason to wait—plan early! If you think spending a few hours at the DMV sounds terrible now, think of how long the lines will be next fall! Be sure to check with your state DMV in advance to make sure you bring the required documentation. Don’t let your vacation slip through your fingers.

A Tip for ALL Travelers, Even if You’re REAL ID Ready

Remember when no liquids went into effect? I sure do. Even if you have a Real ID, there’s a serious reason not to plan non-essential air travel the first week of October in 2020. As the whole country adjusts, definitely factor in extra time to account for the chaos for the entire month.
Help spread the word! Make sure your family and friends are #REALID ready before October 1, 2020—so they’re not left behind.

About AAA Travel and Samantha Brown

New places, different perspectives and heartwarming people around the world sharing their day...what’s not to love? That’s why AAA Travel is sponsoring Season 2 of “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love”—offering you added insight that brings our trusted travel information to life.