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Hey, You! It’s Time to Get Your Real ID

Hey, You! It’s Time to Get Your Real ID
Jennifer Billock

If you don’t have a Real ID driver’s license — the ones with the little star up in the top right corner — now is the time to get one; starting in October 2020, you won’t be able to get through TSA security checkpoints at airports without one, and as more and more travelers head to the DMV to get theirs, lines are getting longer and longer.

If you haven’t gotten your Real ID driver’s license yet, don’t waste any more time getting on, the Transportation Security Administration is telling travelers. The deadline to get one—which allows you to travel through airport security, while a typical license doesn’t—is fast approaching.

“If they are presenting a driver’s license [at airport security] and it does not have that star up in the corner, they are letting people know that they need to get their Real ID by October, 2020,” Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson, told CBS Pittsburgh.

For now, you’ll just get a reminder, but come October 2020, you won’t be able to get through security.

“Congress passed this act for the Real ID in 2005, so states have had all this time to come into compliance,” Farbstein told CBS Pittsburgh. “There have been numerous extensions. So all this came about as a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission which, of course, came out of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.”

In order to get one, you’ll need to go to the DMV with a social security card and two proofs of residency.

“Don’t wait until the last minute. The best tip I can offer is get that Real ID sooner rather than later,” Farbstein told CBS Pittsburgh. And, DMV’s around the country are reporting longer and longer lines as more people update their identification. It’s only bound to get worse as the deadline approaches.


[Source: The North Carolina DMV]

View Comments (9)


  1. JAGorham

    August 26, 2019 at 6:12 am

    Or…. just use your passport.

  2. awone123

    August 26, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Or an Enhanced Drivers License available in some states. it has a US flag in the corner.

  3. awone123

    August 26, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Also documentation requirements will vary per state

  4. OUTraveling

    August 26, 2019 at 9:45 am


    I have Global Entry and a TWIC card.

  5. In2ishn

    August 26, 2019 at 11:26 am

    GE card

  6. Bradhattan

    August 26, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    I only had to bring renewal paper work and my expiring (still valid) license….no ss and no other proof of residency required

  7. sdsearch

    August 26, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    The SS and residency is presumably required at the very least for those who don’t have a current license in their state. How a given state handles the requirements for current license holders who are SCHEDULED for a renewal anyway (who’d need to renew now regardless of REAL ID or not) may be different, and/or how a given state handles ahead-of-schedule renewals for those have long-held licenses in that state may be different. Might it be even possible (unless there’s some law against it) to get a REAL ID simply by renewing by mail / online in some cases? My last two renewals in California (not REAL ID yet) were done online (with receipt of the new card by mail).

  8. KRSW

    August 26, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    …or just claim that you’re an undocumented citizen from Central or South America and you won’t have to produce any identification.

  9. MRM

    August 27, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Ain’t nobody that should have a valid excuse for this – but I’m sure there will be howling anyone if/when people FINALLY have the rules enforced – FIFTEEN YEARS after enactment.

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