REAL ID

Flying with a REAL ID

REAL ID deadline extended.

Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline by a year. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. Read the announcement.

Beginning October 1, 2021, 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.

For information by state, including where to obtain a REAL ID, visit the DHS REAL ID website and click your state on the map.

Note: Legacy Ohio driver’s licenses have a gold star marking on the card, however REAL ID compliant Ohio driver’s licenses have a black cut-out star. If you are not sure whether your card is compliant, contact the Ohio driver’s license issuing agency.

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.

Get the REAL ID Toolkit

FAQ

Are TSA PreCheck™ passengers subject to REAL ID requirements?

Yes. Even if you have TSA PreCheck™, you’ll still need a REAL ID or other acceptable form of ID starting Oct. 1, 2021.

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

Beginning October 1, 2021, 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 security checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.

Does TSA accept mobile driver’s licenses?

At this time, TSA does not accept mobile or electronic driver’s licenses.

Do I need a REAL ID if I’m flying internationally?

You’ll need your passport for international travel, and you can use your passport to verify your identity at the TSA checkpoint instead of a REAL ID-compliant state-issued driver’s license. If you plan to present your state driver’s license to verify your identity at the TSA checkpoint, that card must be REAL ID compliant.

Do REAL ID requirements apply to CLEAR?

Yes, the REAL ID requirements apply to passengers using CLEAR and passengers enrolled in CLEAR will need a REAL ID or other acceptable form of ID starting October 1, 2021.  

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?

Is my tribal identification an acceptable form of ID?

My state is REAL ID compliant. Does that mean my ID is REAL ID compliant?

Not necessarily. Compliant states are allowed to issue both compliant and non-compliant cards.  REAL ID-compliant licenses are marked by a star on the top of the card. If you’re still not sure, check your state driver’s licensing agency website on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.

What does it mean if a state is not REAL ID compliant and only has an extension?

TSA is currently accepting all driver’s licenses and identification from states that are compliant, or have an extension from DHS. Information on state compliance can be found on the DHS web page for REAL ID here.  Beginning October, 1, 2021, TSA will only accept compliant state-issued identification.

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, 2021, 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.

Will TSA accept a temporary REAL ID from the DMV?

Interim driver’s licenses are temporary paper documents and are not currently an acceptable form of ID.