Wisconsin residents will need REAL ID-compliant identification to fly beginning October 1, 2020

Local Press Release
Monday, November 18, 2019

MILWAUKEE - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are reminding Wisconsin residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID or another acceptable form of identification to board a flight. Signs are currently posted at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE) and all other Wisconsin airports.

Wisconsin has been issuing REAL ID driver licenses and ID cards since January 14, 2013. To determine if a Wisconsin driver license is a REAL ID, look for the cutout of a star in the upper right-hand corner of the card.

“Today, TSA is partnering with Wisconsin DMV and General Mitchell International Airport to remind passengers that they will need a state-issued REAL ID license or ID card or another acceptable form of identification to board a plane starting Oct. 1 of next year,” said Mark Lendvay, TSA Wisconsin federal security director, at a press conference at MKE. “We urge travelers not to wait until the last minute to ensure their identification will enable them to fly.”

Travelers who do not have a REAL ID may use another form of acceptable documentation, such as a valid passport or military ID. For a complete list of acceptable IDs, go to https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification. A REAL ID also will be required to gain access to secure federal facilities, including military bases, nuclear facilities and some federal offices starting Oct. 1, 2020.

“Since a driver license or ID is the most convenient form of identification, Wisconsin DMV encourages travelers to prepare their paperwork, then visit a DMV before the October 1, 2020 deadline,” said Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Administrator Kristina Boardman. “Our customers are encouraged to visit the DMV sooner rather than later. Delay could mean longer lines at the DMV or travelers without a REAL ID or another acceptable form of ID will be denied boarding their plane.” 

Information on where to find a nearby DMV, what documents to bring, costs and more is at https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/realid.aspx

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act complies with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as at airport security checkpoints. The regulations established the deadline of October 1, 2020, to ensure full enforcement of the REAL ID Act. States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

More information and Frequently Asked Questions on REAL ID can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs