On your most recent trip, you may have noticed Transportation Security Administration (TSA) signs informing travelers about upcoming ID requirement changes. The ID requirement changes are due to the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005. This act was enacted after the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver 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.
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.
It is possible your driver’s license already meets the requirement if you obtained it recently. Real IDs are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you are unsure if your ID meets the requirements, contact your local state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card. Make sure to not let this deadline slip off your “to-do” list, as you will be unable to pass the airport security checkpoint without a REAL ID or a valid passport starting October 1st.