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Texas residents will need REAL ID-compliant identification to fly starting October 1, 2020

Local Press Release
Thursday, September 12, 2019
Texas Driver License

AUSTIN - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Texas Department of Public Safety today held a press conference at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to remind Texas residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a flight at all U.S. airports.

Texas has been issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards since October 2016. To determine if a Texas driver license is REAL ID-compliant, look for the cutout of a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of the license.

“Starting in about a year, all passengers will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of ID to board a plane here at Austin-Bergstrom and nationwide,” said Mike Scott, TSA AUS federal security director. “Signs are currently posted here at Austin and at airports around Texas reminding the public of the October 1, 2020 deadline.”

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 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.

“The Texas Department of Public Safety wants to assure Texans that they have multiple options to receive a REAL ID-compliant card if they do not already have one. We are reaching out to all of our customers whose cards expire after October 2020 to let them know whether they can renew early or request a duplicate to become compliant by the October 1, 2020 deadline,” said Skylor Hearn, deputy director, Texas Department of Public Safety. “Customers who have yet to receive their letter can see if they are eligible to take advantage of one of these two options by visiting today. If your card expires before October 2020, don’t worry. You will get a REAL ID the next time you renew.”

If your card expires after October 1, 2020, you have multiple options:

  • Do you have a passport? If so, you may choose to use that as your REAL ID credential.
  • Does your card expire between October 2020 and October 2022? You can renew up to two years ahead of your expiration date. Go to to see if you can renew online.
  • If your card expires between October 2020 and October 2022, you can request a duplicate at You will be provided a REAL ID compliant duplicate, which will remain valid until it’s time for you to renew.

If your card expires after October 1, 2022, you have multiple options:

  • Do you have a passport? If so, you may choose to use that as your REAL ID credential.
  • You can mail in a form to request a duplicate Driver License or ID card, or
  • You can visit to request a duplicate Driver License or ID card.

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