TSA encourages state residents to prepare for REAL ID enforcement starting Oct. 1, 2020

Local Press Release
Thursday, February 27, 2020

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today reminded California residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant driver license, identification card or another acceptable form of identification to board a commercial flight.

To determine if a California driver license or identification card is REAL ID-compliant, look for a bear and 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, TSA will no longer be permitted to accept state-issued driver licenses or identification cards from travelers if the credential does not meet the REAL ID standards,” said TSA Federal Security Director in Sacramento Sid Hanna. “Most travelers use their driver license as their picture ID, so we are encouraging Californians to act now and make sure their license meets REAL ID standards.”

Now is the time for residents to plan ahead to ensure compliance with identification requirements. Californians applying for a REAL ID are required to visit a DMV field office and bring:

  • An identity document*, such as a valid passport or original birth certificate. *If you’ve changed your name, legal name change document(s) might be required
  • A document with the entire Social Security number visible, such as an original Social Security card or W-2 form.
  • Two hard copy documents showing California residency, such as a utility or cell phone bill, bank statement, or mortgage bill.

On the TSA website, there is a full list of 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 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 or other acceptable forms of identification will be mandatory for commercial air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. For more information on REAL ID, visit the Frequently Asked Questions on the TSA website.