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South Dakota residents will need REAL ID-compliant driver license, identification card or other acceptable form of identification to fly starting October 2020

Local Press Release
Thursday, November 7, 2019
SD REAL ID Example

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today reminded South Dakota residents that starting Oct. 1, 2020, all 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 South Dakota driver license or identification card is REAL ID-compliant, look for a white star within a gold circle 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 be prohibited from accepting a state-issued driver license or identification card from a traveler if the credential does not meet the REAL ID standards,” said TSA Federal Security Director for South Dakota Mark Heisey. “Because the type of identification that the majority of travelers present at the security checkpoint is a driver license, now is the time for South Dakota residents to determine whether their license meets REAL ID standards.”

REAL ID is intended to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards while inhibiting the ability of terrorists and others to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant state-issued ID or another acceptable form of identification to board a commercial flight or gain access to secure federal facilities, including military bases, nuclear facilities and some federal offices. Now is the time for residents to plan ahead to ensure compliance with identification requirements.

The South Dakota Driver Licensing Program, which is part of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, began issuing REAL ID-complaint licenses and identification cards on Dec. 31, 2009. The state is now more than 99 compliant with the federal requirements. Eligibility requirements include providing proof of date of birth, identity and legal status or presence in the United States; proof of Social Security Number; and two forms of documentation to confirm state residency. More information on applying for a driver license in South Dakota is available online.

On the TSA website, there is a full list of acceptable forms of identification beyond a state-issued driver license or identification card that can be presented at the security checkpoint. Some examples are a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card; Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler card including a Global Entry card; active duty and retired military ID including IDs issued to dependents; 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. More information and Frequently Asked Questions on REAL ID can be found at