Next fall, the federal government’s Real ID Act goes fully into effect and will change the acceptable form of ID required to pass through airport security, regardless of a flight’s destination.
The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, requires every air traveler 18 years or older to have an ID marked with a star located in the upper portion of the card.
An enactment of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation, the Real ID Act establishes specific federal requirements for state-issued driver license and identification cards.
Those American passengers who do not have a Real ID-compliant license will need to show another form of valid identification such as a passport. Without it, travelers will not be allowed through the security checkpoint.
The Real ID Act extends to those accessing federal buildings, nuclear power plants and boarding federally regulated commercial aircrafts.
Alaska, California, Oregon, Montana, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maine are all states that have yet to make the switch to the Real ID system.
In Texas, the Department of Public Safety began issuing identification cards with the required star on October 10, 2016.
Texas residents who have not renewed or been issued an identification card after that date will be unable to board domestic flights without a secondary approved proof of identification.
The Real ID Act goes fully into effect on October 1, 2020.