REAL ID Act

In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act in accordance with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”

On January 8, 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the schedule for the final phase of implementation of the REAL ID Act. The Secretary’s statement set the final deadlines for the Phased Enforcement Schedule for REAL ID originally announced on December 20, 2013.

Beginning January 22, 2018, TSA security checkpoints at airports will no longer accept driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by REAL ID non-compliant jurisdictions that have not been granted DHS extensions to the compliance deadline. DHS websites and TSA checkpoints will prominently post up-to-date lists of states whose credentials may not be accepted.

Please note that REAL ID enforcement by TSA will only affect designated state-issued credentials and will not affect TSA acceptance of other identity documents such as passports, military IDs, and Trusted Traveler cards.

Beginning October 1, 2020, TSA will no longer accept any state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards that are not REAL ID compliant. As before, individuals may still use alternative identity documents accepted by TSA.

The DHS and TSA websites contain additional information about the Department’s implementation of REAL ID, including the list of documents TSA accepts at airport checkpoints and up-to-date compliance status for each state. For guidance and recommendations, see the REAL ID factsheet.

If you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact the TSA Contact Center: 1-866-289-9673. We appreciate your assistance in helping us share this information widely.

Thank you.

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