Travel insights from Andrea Sedlacek, editor of The Compass

Less Than 18 Months to Go Until the REAL ID Deadline

Let the countdown begin: the deadline for REAL ID-compliance is now less than 18 months away.

By October 1, 2020, every traveler flying domestically must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification. If you do not have a compliant driver’s license and cannot verify your identity in another way, TSA says you will not be able to enter the security checkpoint and therefore will not allowed to fly.

Most states and jurisdictions are now issuing compliant driver’s licenses, but there are some stragglers:

  • American Samoa
  • California
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania

Travelers without a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card by October 1, 2020 can still fly domestically, but they must have a valid passport to board the plane. But to reiterate, if you live in a state that is already issuing REAL ID-compliant IDs, just go get one so you don’t have to think about REAL ID anymore.

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