USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

REAL ID

Flying with a REAL ID

Save the date.

Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.

Check for the star.

REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.

About enhanced driver's licenses.

Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only.

State-issued enhanced driver's licenses are marked with a flag. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.

It’s the law.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted 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 and implementing regulations establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane. Learn more about REAL ID enforcement.

FAQ

Can I use my driver’s license to board an aircraft if it is not REAL ID compliant?

Beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or other acceptable forms of identification, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. Review the complete list of acceptable identification.

Individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA airport checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly

How can I tell if my license/ID is REAL ID compliant?

REAL ID-compliant licenses are marked by a star on the top of the card.

Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. State-issued enhanced driver's licenses do not have a star on the top of the card.

Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.

If you’re not sure, check your state driver’s licensing agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.

How do I get a REAL ID?

Check with your state driver’s license agency. You will need to go in person to present documentation to verify who you are in order to get your REAL ID.

Is a passport my only other option if my driver's license or state ID is not acceptable?

What happens if I show up without a valid driver's license or state ID?

What happens if my ID doesn’t have a star?

You must present an acceptable ID, such as a valid passport, state-issued enhanced driver's license or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. You will not be allowed to fly if your identity cannot be verified. Review the complete list of acceptable identification.

What is the status of my state? How do I know if my ID is in compliance?

When do I need to get a REAL ID?

Beginning October 1, 2020, you will need have a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of ID, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the U.S. Review the complete list of acceptable IDs.

Will minors need to have a driver’s license or state ID to fly domestically?

TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification.