Nevermind: Feds Delay Real ID Requirement for Flights (Again)
real id to fly

Nevermind: Feds Delay Real ID Requirement for Flights (Again)

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.

Turns out you won’t need a new Real ID to board a flight this fall, after all. In fact, you’ve got more than a year and a half to get one of these federally approved IDs.

After more than a decade of delays, those new Real ID requirements were set to take effect Oct. 1, 2021. But the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended that deadline yet again: Now, you’ll have until May 3, 2023 to get a Real ID to fly. That’s another 19-month extension.

“Extending the Real ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. NBC News first reported the extension.

This new ID law was passed in 2005 in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks to combat terrorism and identity fraud. Real IDs come with some additional hoops to jump through when applying for or renewing a driver’s license – they’re marked with a gold star showing they’re federally approved.

But while Real ID requirements for air travel have been looming for years, they’ve been constantly pushed back as many states resisted falling in line. Now, they’re available in every U.S. state. Just last year, that deadline was pushed back from a year October 2020 to 2021.

This time, federal officials said another delay was necessary because the COVID-19 pandemic has made it harder for many citizens to get a compliant ID from their DMV.


Who Will Need a Real ID to Fly?

In a word? Everyone … eventually.

The Department of Homeland Security makes it clear: Once these new requirements take effect, you won’t be able to get into the airport without one. Read up on more frequently asked questions about Real ID on the DHS site.

The only exception is the same one that exists for IDs today: Children under 18 who are traveling with an adult companion will not need to present a Real ID at the airport.

But for now, the pressure is off. You won’t need a Real ID to fly this fall. In fact, you won’t need it until May of 2023.


How to Get a Real ID to Fly

Today, you can get a Real ID-compliant license from your local DMV in every state.

The cost of getting a Real ID will vary state by state. Some states have reduced the costs to renew an older license if it expires after the full Real ID requirements take effect. These new IDs are almost identical to the standard driver’s license you’re using today – they’ve simply got a golden star, denoting that they’re approved for federal use.
Real ID to fly

And while you simply go to your local DMV as usual, applying for a new, compliant license is a bit different. Namely, you need to provide some extra documentation.

  • One document proving your identity, like a valid passport or certified birth certificate.
  • One document with your Social Security number, like your Social Security card or a federal W-2 form.
  • Two documents proving your current address, like a valid driver’s license, a canceled check, or utility company or bank statements issued within the last 90 days.

More than 150 million Americans nationwide have already received a Real ID, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

If you live in Minnesota, there’s an even easier option. Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) airport set up a first-of-its-kind application center right inside the airport. Just set up an appointment and knock out your application before or after your next flight.

Of course, you may not need a Real ID after all. You could use a passport to board any flight – then you wouldn’t need a Real ID. You’ll still need that passport for any international journey, after all. And if you’ve got Global Entry, your Global Entry card will work as well.

Read more on the alternatives you can keep using instead of getting a Real ID.


Bottom Line

Real ID is coming … at some point. After this latest delay, you’ve got another 19 months to get one – and that’s if the federal government decides to enforce this new requirement at all.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

11 Responses

  • You will need a Real ID, regardless if you travel domestic with your passport or not? So no one will be able to fly without a Real ID at all? Just need some clarification. Thanks!

  • Fact Check: FALSE!
    You can fly with zero ID at all. In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You will be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property.

  • Don’t care about real I’d. I have passport but are we going to talk about a health passport for international travel?

    • 😡 The “health” passports are taking this too far! We all should be calling the airlines and hotels about this push to force everyone into toxic and experimental compliance.

      • Well then stay home while the rest of us get to travel while you wait for herd immunity. There’s no proof vaccines are toxic or this is experimental so take your anti-vax nonsense out of here. If you are one of the unfortunates who cannot be vaccinated then shut up and be patient while you wait for herd immunity.
        Until then the rest of us can’t wait for the vaccine passports to happen and we can get back into the world!

      • You don’t have to travel…….. As a healthcare provider I support mandatory immunizations as they are proven safe and effective. This is simply good public health policy.

  • Government or Military IDs will also be valid for travel. I don’t see why my state has to charge so much for a RealID DL. That probably keeps many people from applying.
    Hopefully a normal shot record will work for proving COVID-19 vaccination, for travel abroad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *