One-year countdown to REAL ID underway
MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont residents who want to board an airplane will need a star on their driver’s license in one year, indicating that it is a REAL ID credential or they will need another form of approved identification to board their flight or enter a secure federal facility or military base. Vermont’s REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards have a star in the upper right corner inside a gold circle to indicate that it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.
The upgraded REAL IDs will be required starting October 1, 2020 and the one-year countdown is on!
Vermonters have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID if their license does not currently have the star or stick with an older standard driver’s license. However, a standard credential—without the star—will not be valid to board a domestic flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices and will have the words “Not for Federal Identification” printed at the top. With that in mind, it is highly recommended that Vermonters who plan to travel upgrade from a standard driver’s license to a REAL ID or enhanced license before the deadline. The enhanced driver’s license costs an additional $30 and is acceptable for border-crossing travel to enter the U.S. by land and sea. It is also REAL ID-compliant, however not every Vermont REAL ID card is also an enhanced driver’s license. Visit the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles web page to review the different types of licenses and IDs.
To get the REAL ID star on a driver’s license, individuals will need to visit one of the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles locations in person and bring certain documents to prove U.S. citizenship and Vermont residency. Required documents include one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of Vermont residency, your social security card (if you’ve been issued one) and a current driver’s license if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state.
Transportation Security Administration officers who staff the ticket document checking station at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a REAL ID license or another form of acceptable ID after October 1, 2020, because of a federal law (The REAL ID Act of 2005) that mandates that a REAL ID is needed for federal purposes. REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.
TSA has posted signs at airports nationwide to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for domestic air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.
For more information and details about how to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card in Vermont, visit the state’s REAL ID information page.
TSA also has a one-minute video that provides information about flying with a REAL ID.