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Real ID Act – What You Need to Know Starting January 2018

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Real ID Act - What You Need to Know Starting January 2018The Real ID Act is going to be changing travel and Tourist Meets Traveler has the details on what you need to know starting in January 2018. The Transportation Security Administration security checkpoints at airports are going to endure some more growing pains as the change in necessary documents will likely cause headaches. Read on to see how the change will impact your experience with the T.S.A.

Related: Top 5 Craziest Things Confiscated by TSA

The Real ID Act Defined

Justine Whelan, who is a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, explained, “The act prevents the production of fake IDs and ensures that all identification that is used has certain features which prevent tampering or are difficult to replicate.” The 9/11 Commission recommended the act that was subsequently passed by Congress to set minimum security standards for states.

Changes and the States Currently Impacted

At the time of this publication, 28 states are Real ID compliant. The list currently compliant states include Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. This change has been an undertaking over the last two years, but starting January 22, 2018, the T.S.A. will require all travelers who don’t have a driver’s license from a compliant state to produce an alternative form of approved identification. And, as of October 1, 2020, all fliers must have a Real ID-compliant driver’s license. It should be noted this is required for legal adults aged 18 and older.

Acceptable Alternative Approved Identification

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
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

Looks like the push to get a passport is growing. FYI – November and December are the best months to apply for or renew your current passport.

Related: Airport Security Time-Savers: TSA PreCheck and Global Entry Differences Explained

What do you think of the the Real ID Act? Do you think it will cause longer waits at T.S.A. checkpoints? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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