Real ID

REAL ID May Be Required To Fly in Two Years


Want to fly in 2017? Not unless you have a “REAL ID” or a current passport, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

A REAL ID is a state-issued driver’s license, procured through the recipient’s bureau of motor vehicles, but now specially marked to show its information is federally vetted and approved. The card shows full name, residence, birth date, gender, driver’s license number, a front-facing photo, signature and a special marking that shows all these are associated with a “unique identification number” assigned by the federal government.

Despite pushback from some state governments, it now appears that the Transportation Safety Administration will not accept as valid aircraft-boarding ID any state-issued driver’s license lacking REAL ID features sometime after 2016.

The REAL ID initiative had been dismissed previously due to resistance raised by so many states, organizations, interest groups, and individuals. In fact, over a dozen states actually have made it illegal for their officials to comply with REAL ID regulation.

Chris Calabrese, former Legislative Counsel for the ACLU Legislative Office, said, “If the DHS actually were to implement Real ID [in these states], it would mean denying more than 20 percent of the U.S. population the right to…board airplanes!”

Both the American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Ohio have opposed the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005.