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Deadline for REAL ID Compliance is One Year Away




Release Date: 
October 1, 2019

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reminds travelers that the upcoming REAL ID requirement and enforcement will start one year from today. Beginning October 1, 2020, every air 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 United States. Individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.

“This is an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security and we urge travelers to ensure they have compliant documents,” said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. “DHS is committed to working with states as they continue their efforts to issue REAL IDs to Americans.”

  • Real progress has been made in less than two years. In January of 2017, only 26 states were REAL ID compliant.
  • Through voluntary partnerships with state governments, associations, DMVs, and other stakeholders across all jurisdictions, DHS can proudly say that 47 out of 50 states are currently REAL ID compliant.
  • There is still work to do. Only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID at this time.


Brendan KM4HRR


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FOR VIRGINIA:  Your current Virginia credential may be used to board a domestic flight through September 30, 2020. On October 1, 2020, the federal government will require all domestic air travelers to present a REAL ID compliant driver's license or ID card or another federally approved form of identification.

What does a REAL ID compliant Virginia license/ID card look like?
REAL ID compliant licenses and ID cards look the same as cards issued prior to October 1, 2018, except they have a circle with a star in the top right corner of the credential, while non-compliant licenses and ID cards display “federal limits apply” on the face of the card. So, unless your current Drivers License has this symbol, after Octover 1, 2020 you cannot use it to enter the TSA boarding areas to fly.  So, you have about a year to replace your License with a Real ID compliant one either when you renew your license or you have to apply for a replacement Real ID complant one at a DMV office -- in every case this has to be done in person with the appropriate documentation at a DMV office.  (Federal law requires that your first application for a REAL ID compliant credential be made in person. After you’ve received your first REAL ID compliant credential, you may renew online according to the standard schedule.)  There are other forms of documentation (such as a valid US Passport) that can be used in lieu of a Real ID License.  See the following web page for more information for Virginia:  https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#real_faqs.asp
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