REAL ID Travel Policy

How Will REAL ID Impact Your Travel Program?

2018 is bringing many changes in a variety of ways. Including how we travel. January saw the implementation of the final phase of the federal REAL ID Act program (established in 2005). The Homeland Security initiative established security standards for identification sources, like driver’s licenses, and gave states a timeframe in which to become compliant. REAL IDs are used for boarding airplanes. Which means that there may be a REAL ID impact to your travel program.

What is REAL ID?

Background: in 2005, the 9/11 Commission recommended the REAL ID Act to ensure that state driver’s licenses and other identification sources meet technical federal standards and Department of Homeland Security verified procedures. The goal is to combat counterfeiting of and tampering with licenses in response to terrorism concerns. Every state is responsible for initiating a compliant form of identification. While the deadline was January 2018, states that are not yet compliant have been granted an extension through October 10, 2018. After that date, non-compliant state driver’s licenses will not be accepted as a valid form of ID for flying.

How does REAL ID impact my organization or myself?

The first step is to figure out if your state-issued ID is compliant or not (see the list of states showing compliance or extension).

If the traveling individual’s state is compliant with REAL ID standards, their travel will not be impacted in any way. Travelers can still use their driver’s licenses or other recognized source of identification, like a passport or military ID, to board airplanes.

However, if the traveling individual’s state is not compliant, they have until October 10, 2018 to obtain a REAL ID compliant source of identification. Acceptable alternate forms of identification include:

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards
  • U.S. military ID

The TSA website lists more forms of ID and information on REAL ID alternatives.

TSA recommends anyone with an ID issued by a non-compliant state with travel plans apply for a passport as soon as possible. While there is a chance that another extension could be placed, there is no guarantee. We don’t recommend that you take the risk. Processing times for passport applications will increase with the demand.

Keep it simple

As things continue to change, air travel becomes increasingly complicated. Let Carrousel Travel handle part of the process. Contact us today for the most efficient, cost-effective and streamlined travel services available!