What Travelers Need to Know About REAL ID

Are you Ready for Real ID?

On October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will implement the final phase of REAL ID enforcement, requiring Americans to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of authenticated ID to go through airport security checkpoints.

REAL ID refers to a set of security standards established by Congress in 2005 for card issuance, card design and application processing that individual states must follow when issuing driver’s licenses and other forms of identification; most REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses feature a star in the upper-right corner.

However, an estimated 99 million Americans (39%) do not have any form of identification (e.g. REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, U.S. passport, U.S. military ID or an enhanced driver’s license) that will be accepted after October 1, 2020. Furthermore, the majority of Americans (57%) are unaware of the October 1, 2020 deadline for enforcement. Air travel risks being seriously disrupted if millions of passengers are turned away on October 1, 2020 for not having the necessary documents to fly.

GBTA is working with the larger travel industry and our government partners to educate travelers on REAL ID enforcement. Policy changes that allow alternative forms of authentication in place of a REAL ID at airport security checkpoints—including biometric screening and existing enrollment in Trusted Traveler Programs—can help mitigate the effects of REAL ID enforcement, while also ensuring a secure and efficient screening process.

It is our desire that all air travelers flying within the U.S. secure a REAL ID compliant form of identification well ahead of next year’s deadline in order to keep the air travel process moving without disruption.

To that end, GBTA is providing you with materials to help you spread the word to your travelers on how to prepare. Click to read REALID Talking Points, REALID Infographic, REAL ID Fact Sheet and DHS reminds travelers that deadline is One Year Away.

REAL ID enforcement is coming—let’s make sure we’re all prepared and your travelers aren’t left standing at the checkpoint.

Shane Downey is GBTA's Vice President of Government Relations. In this role Shane oversees GBTA’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and Brussels, a nationwide grassroots campaign, and the Business Travel PAC. Shane was recently named a 2019 Association Trends Leading Lobbyist. Shane comes to GBTA with over 11 years of government affairs experience. Prior to joining GBTA, Shane was a Senior Associate at a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C. In 1996, Shane oversaw the successful reelection of an Ohio Congressman. Shane is a proud fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is never without hot sauce and in his spare time enjoys playing with his dog, Murphy.

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