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TravelAirports and the TSA are gearing up for the Real ID deadline. You should be, too

19:50  26 april  2019
19:50  26 april  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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The Real ID Act is legislation passed in 2005 (in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks) that set new and higher minimum security standards for the driver’s licenses and identification cards that will be accepted at airports , other federally regulated facilities and nuclear power plants.

You should be , too : Delta Issues Travel Waivers for Upper Midwest Airports A winter storm is expected to affec Learn more about REAL ID . For that reason, the TSA , the DHS, airports and travel agents are urging travelers to renew their driver’s licenses or state IDs early and to be sure to

Airports and the TSA are gearing up for the Real ID deadline. You should be, too© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Take a look at your driver’s license.

Go ahead, we’ll wait while you fish it out of your wallet.

If your driver’s license doesn’t have a star in the upper corner of the card, then your license is not Real ID compliant. And if you're planning to take a domestic commercial flight any time after Oct 1, 2020, you’ll need to take action, make some decisions or wait for your state to get its act together.

What’s Real ID?

The Real ID Act is legislation passed in 2005 (in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks) that set new and higher minimum security standards for the driver’s licenses and identification cards that will be accepted at airports, other federally regulated facilities and nuclear power plants.

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The Transportation Security Administration ( TSA ) will begin posting signs at airports this week notifying travelers that beginning January 2018 it will start enforcing REAL ID TSA will update signage if and when states that are currently listed receive extensions.

REAL ID -compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you ’re not sure, contact These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID Individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA airport checkpoint and

Debates and pushback from some states over the impact of Real ID have created confusion and delayed the official rollout of the act’s enforcement, but Oct. 1, 2020, is now considered the firm date for enforcement at commercial airports.

“The main pushback on REAL ID is that it’s too Big Brother,” said Jeff Price, an aviation security expert with Leading Edge Strategies. “It’s a move to make everyone in the U.S. have identification, which tends to upset those who enjoy life off the grid or don’t like any more government intrusion into their lives than what is necessary.”

But, Price notes, nearly every state has come into compliance. “And there hasn’t been the Big Brother/illegal shakedown issues that some people predicted,” he said.

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If your driver’s license doesn’t have a star in the upper right corner, then your license isn’t a Real ID . And if you 're planning to take a domestic commercial flight after Oct 1, 2020, you may need to take action.

The Real ID Act set new and higher minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and identification cards that will be accepted at airports . You should be , too .

How do you get a Real ID-compliant license, and when can you get it?

Here’s where things can get tricky.

The Department of Homeland Security has been phasing in enforcement of the Real ID Act in an effort to give states time to become compliant with the rules and to begin issuing enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards in time for the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline.

Most states are currently in compliance with the Real ID Act and are able to issue upgraded licenses and IDs. The DHS website has a map you can check to find out the status of your state.

Seven states (Oregon, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Maine), plus American Samoa, have been granted extensions with varying deadlines for meeting the rules. (Some have until Aug. 1, 2019, while others have until Oct. 10, 2019).

California’s status regarding Real ID compliance is listed as “under review” with a much shorter deadline of May 24, 2019, for achieving compliance.

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Real ID was passed by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and creates standards for secure driver’s licenses and identification cards Of these, 2.3 million to date have the required federal Real ID documents on file with MDOT MVA. More: Airports and the TSA are gearing up for

What this means:

If your current driver’s license or ID card is from a compliant state, the Transportation Security Administration will accept it at airports until Sept. 30, 2020. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, though, licenses and IDs from these states will need to bear a star or special symbol that shows it has been upgraded to conform to the new minimum security standards.

If your current license is from one of the seven states that has been given an extension, or from California, then it is good until the date the extension expires. After that, if the state isn’t given another extension, is it possible the TSA will require an additional or alternate form of ID (i.e., a passport) between the extension expiration date and Sept. 30, 2020.

Come Oct. 1, 2020, though, licenses from these extension states will also need to have the star or symbol that shows it has been upgraded to meet the new minimum security standards.

Getting ready for Oct. 1, 2020

Signs about the Real ID deadline are going up now in airports across the country.

Oct. 1, 2020, seems far off, but it is "just" a year and a half away. And there’s sure to be continued confusion and delays in getting upgraded licenses and ID cards from state agencies.

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The best is Hollywood Burbank Airport , and the worst is Los Angeles International Airport . "Burbank is an airport free of most of the hassles that take the fun out of travel plans," Rachael Levitt, managing editor of Fodor’s Travel Don't forget: Airports and the TSA are gearing up for the Real ID deadline .

Those who sign up still have to go through the same security screening as ticketed passengers. They can pick a date and terminal at least 24 hours before the day they want to visit the airport , and pick up gate More: Airports and the TSA are gearing up for the Real ID deadline . You should be , too .

For that reason, the TSA, the DHS, airports and travel agents are urging travelers to renew their driver’s licenses or state IDs early and to be sure to opt for the "enhanced" or "compliant" versions which, we should warn you, require additional paperwork and may cost more than the "for driving only" or "unenhanced" versions in some states.

Or, you can decide if you are comfortable flying domestically with your passport (if you have one; only about 40% of Americans do) or with one of the other forms of approved identification on the TSA's list.

Harriet Baskas is a Seattle-based airports and aviation writer. Follow her at twitter.com/hbaskas.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Airports and the TSA are gearing up for the Real ID deadline. You should be, too

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