What you need to do to become REAL ID compliant before the 2020 deadline

A recent study by the U.S. Travel Association found that most Americans are unprepared for the Oct. 1, 2020 REAL ID deadline, so if you’re not sure if your driver’s license is REAL ID-compliant, here’s what you need to know.

Next year, in order to board a domestic flight in the U.S., you’ll need to have a REAL ID or an acceptable alternative form of identification. To get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license that meets federal standards, you’ll have to prove who you are and where you live.

Some states may have additional requirements, but at a minimum, you must provide documentation showing your full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, two proofs of address of principal residence and your lawful status in the U.S.

  • To prove your full legal name, make sure it’s the same on all proof documents, or bring additional documentation, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree. A middle initial, or no middle name displayed, on some documents may still be acceptable.
  • Proof of identity might include, for example, a birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport.
  • Proof of your Social Security number might include, for example, a Social Security card, W-2 form or a payroll check stub.
  • Proof of residency might include, for example, a monthly mortgage statement, a bank or credit card statement not more than two months old, or a utility bill not more than two months old.
  • Proof of legal presence must show your full legal name and date of birth and might include, for example, a birth certificate issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction or territory, a valid passport, or an unexpired Permanent Resident card.

You can check individual websites for MarylandVirginia and the D.C. for specific guidance or help with the process.

After Oct. 1, 2020, if you do not have a REAL ID, there are more than a dozen forms of identification the Transportation Security Administration will accept to allow you to board a domestic flight, including a passport, military ID or a Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler Card.

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