SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Officials with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today reminded California residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant driver license, identification card or another federally-approved form of identification to board a commercial flight or enter a secure federal facility.
To determine if a California driver license or identification card is REAL ID-compliant, look for a bear with a star in the upper right-hand corner. The presence of this icon will indicate that the credential is REAL ID-compliant.
Congress passed The REAL ID Act in 2005, enacting a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that established minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses and identification cards. The Act further prohibited federal agencies, including the TSA, from accepting state-issued driver licenses or identification cards that do not meet the minimum standards.
“Starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers need to be aware that TSA will not accept state-issued driver licenses or identification cards from travelers if the credential does not meet REAL ID standards,” said TSA Federal Security Director for the Central Coast of California Anita Minaei. “Because the majority of travelers use their driver license as picture ID at the security checkpoint, TSA is encouraging Californians to act now to make sure their state-issued photo ID meets REAL ID standards”
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) began issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and identification cards in January 2018. Eligibility requirements include providing proof of identity, legal status in the United States, a Social Security Number as well as two forms of documentation to confirm primary residency in California. More information on applying for a driver license or identification card in California that meets REAL ID standards is available at REALID.dmv.ca.gov.
With the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline less than nine months away, TSA encourages state residents to check now to determine if they are in compliance with the upcoming photo identification requirements for travel. All California DMV offices including the one in Santa Barbara issue REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and ID cards. The local office is located at 535 Castillo Street. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesday, it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On the TSA website, there is a full list of federally-acceptable forms of identification beyond a state-issued driver license or identification card that TSA accepts at the security checkpoint. Some examples of alternate forms of acceptable identification are a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card; active duty and retired military ID including IDs issued to dependents; federally-recognized tribal-issued photo ID; Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler card including a Global Entry or SENTRI card; and the Transportation Worker Identification Credential.
Signs are currently posted at airports nationwide reminding the public that REAL ID-compliant licenses, ID cards or other acceptable forms of identification will be mandatory for commercial air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. More information and Frequently Asked Questions on REAL ID can be found at https://www.tsa.gov/real-id.