Starting October 1, 2020, there will be new security requirements for Americans flying in the United States where all travelers age 18 and up will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another form of accepted identification to fly domestically.
In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which sets standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses. In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act.
The REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government, “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act includes boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel. In coordination with its Department of Homeland Security (DHS) counterparts, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has identified acceptable identification at airport checkpoints, such as:
- Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
Oklahoma is one of only three states that is not yet REAL ID compliant and have been granted extensions. According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety website, ok.gov, HB 1845 was passed in 2017 allowing the Department of Public Safety to come into compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. Since 2017, extensions have been granted by the Federal government, allowing Oklahomans to continue to use Oklahoma driver’s licenses or ID cards to board commercial aircraft.
It is now estimated the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will begin issuing REAL ID documents April 30, 2020, at selected locations across the state. REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards will be available to all Oklahomans statewide by August 31, 2020.
To learn more about REAL ID, go to tsa.gov/real-id, ok.gov/dps/FAQs/REAL_ID_FAQs, and ustravel.org.
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Cristy Morrison, President and CEO, represents Visit Stillwater, 2617 W. 6th Avenue, Stillwater, OK 74074. She can be reached at Cristy@VisitStillwater.org or by calling 405-743-3697.