Most Americans unprepared for REAL ID, could be turned away at airports

young alone woman waiting in transit area in the airport terminal, standing by for the next schedule traveling, late delay of the arrival departure, missing checking in the boarding pass(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Iam Anupong)
Most Americans are unprepared for next year’s federal REAL ID deadline, and a study by the U.S. Travel Association says millions of travelers could be barred from boarding aircraft a year from now because they don’t have the proper identification.

The federal REAL ID law was adopted in 2005, creating new security standards for driver’s licenses in all states. The Travel Association’s survey has found that 72% of adults say they don’t have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or are unsure whether they do.

The law requires full implementation of the REAL ID Act on Oct. 1, 2020. On that date, in order to pass through airport TSA checkpoints, travelers must have a REAL ID driver’s license or other approved forms of ID, which include a passport, a permanent resident card or a Department of Defense ID. Some 39% of Americans surveyed say they don’t have passports or other acceptable forms of ID.

Just 18% say they are certain they have a state-issued REAL ID with the defining five-point star in the upper right corner.

The Travel Association estimates that if REAL ID standards were fully enforced immediately, at least 78,500 air travelers could be turned away at the airport on the first day.

The travel group is spreading the word about REAL ID to help the nation be prepared.

Find out more about how to get a REAL ID license:

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Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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