For those planning to fly this summer for the first time since the pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented some updates and concessions to make your experience as smooth as possible.
First of all, you can still fly this year even if you haven’t been able to get a REAL ID compliant license. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced an extension of the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said the Secretary of DHS, Alejandro Mayorkas. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.”
TSA will even accept expired driver’s licenses, as long as the expiration date was a year or less from the day of travel.
Keep in mind that TSA is also allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags until further notice. The sanitizers may need to be screened separately, so plan accordingly to allow some extra time for your screening experience.
If you have not already, consider signing up for TSA PreCheck to enjoy expedited screening benefits and reduced overall contact during screening. TSA PreCheck is offered free of charge to U.S. DoD and Federal Civilian employees and all Active Duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, and cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Air Force Academy.