Ready...Set...Vacation! with Erik the Travel Guy


Travel Tip - What You Need to Know About REAL ID

If you have a driver’s license or state government-issued ID card, is it REAL ID compliant? Take a look at it right now...I’ll wait. Does it have a star symbol in the upper right-hand corner? If so, then you can stop reading right now and visit my Etsy shop! If not, then pay attention, I got you covered. 

The ID we show for most travel within the United States must be REAL ID compliant by May 7, 2025. Once that deadline of May 7, 2025 arrives, TSA will no longer be able to accept any license or identification card that does not meet the REAL ID standards. In other words, a non-compliant driver’s license will no longer be sufficient to get through airport security checkpoints around the country. 

But before we go any further, let’s examine what the program is. The REAL ID Act is a federal law enacted in the United States in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. Its primary purpose is to improve the security and reliability of identification documents used for various purposes, including boarding commercial flights and entering federal facilities. To comply with REAL ID, individuals must provide specific documentation, such as proof of identity, lawful presence, and residency, when applying for a REAL ID-compliant card. This measure aims to enhance national security and prevent the fraudulent use of identification documents, ensuring a safer and more standardized identification process across the country.

Because most IDs are issued per state, the Department of Homeland Security offers step-by-step instructions and information broken down by US state. That link is:


So you have some time but please do not put this off. Make sure your ID is REAL ID compliant. In addition, I suggest renewing or securing a US passport so you can travel domestically or internationally without concern for compliant identification.

Thanks for taking a moment to read this article and I’ll see you in line at security! 



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