New TSA Real ID Requirements for Travel in the US

Photo of author

Lizzie Lau

If you’ve been waiting in line at airport security in the US recently, you’ve probably noticed the big blue signs advertising the new identification requirements coming next year. Here’s what you need to know about the new TSA Real ID requirements for travel in the US.

The big news is that your driver’s license or other state-issued ID could soon become obsolete for air travel. Beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification (see the list below), to fly within the United States.

TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport security checkpoint process when the REAL ID Act goes into full enforcement.

TSA Real ID Requirements
(Photo: TSA)

“TSA is doing everything we can to prepare our partners and the traveling public for the REAL ID deadline next year,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “The security requirements of the REAL ID Act will dramatically enhance and improve commercial aviation security.”

Starting on October 1, 2020, travelers 18 and up who are unable to verify their identity with Real ID will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly. The list below indicates approved forms of identification.

  • Valid U.S. passport or 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
  • DHS-designated 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

If you’re not sure if your driver’s license is compliant, you should check with your state driver’s license agency. One easy way to know your card is not compliant is if it says “Not for Federal Identification” or  “Federal Limits Apply.”

If you do need to apply for Real ID, you’ll have to visit your local DMV in person and bring this stack of documents:

  • An original or certified document that proves your identity, such as a passport or birth certificate. Photocopies won’t be accepted.
  • A document that shows your Social Security number, such as a W-2 form.
  • Two documents that prove your residency, including your street address, such as a utility bill, rental agreement or mortgage statement. You can use photocopies for these.
  • If you’ve changed your legal name, you’ll need additional original or certified documents.
  • Cash, check or debit card to pay the fee @ $60.

New TSA Real ID Requirements are not that new.

The REAL ID act was passed by Congress back in 2005 to comply 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.”

The deadline of October 1, 2020 was set to ensure full enforcement of the REAL ID Act by that date. Most states have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act.

For more information about flying with a REAL ID and to download and print informational materials, visit

For more Family Travel Resources, click here.

New TSA Real ID Requirements for Travel in the US

1 thought on “New TSA Real ID Requirements for Travel in the US”

Comments are closed.