April 28, 2021

Are You Ready for the Real ID Act?

By: Dan Laiosa, CEO and founder, Get Busy Livin’ Travel

It is no question that most of us are dreading to get out and experience the amazing landscapes and peace that can be found out in the unknown. A vital step to do this correctly during a pandemic? Planning!

When you start planning your trip abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s best to stick to one or two countries until the virus is well under control. Though you might be tempted to accumulate new exotic locales and Instagram-worthy moments — especially after staying home for so long — you’ll be able to relax on your adventure without worrying about additional transits, quarantines, testing requirements, and ever-changing guidelines. Here’s your chance to take the time to really get to know a place and embrace the art of slow travel. This is why this month, we bring you a newsletter focused on regulations, so that you can make the best of your upcoming trip!

Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline by a year, having this be enforced on October 1, 2021.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.

Federal agencies, including DHS and TSA, may only accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards as identification for purposes of accessing federal facilities – including TSA airport security checkpoints – if the license or card was issued by a REAL ID compliant state in accordance with the REAL ID security standards (meaning the license or card must include the REAL ID compliant star marking).

To obtain a REAL ID, visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency website to find out exactly what documentation is required to obtain one. At a minimum, you must provide documentation showing: 1) Full Legal Name; 2) Date of Birth; 3) Social Security Number; 4) Two Proofs of Address of Principal Residence; and 5) Lawful Status.

States may impose additional requirements, so check with your state’s driver’s licensing agency website, before visiting them in person, for additional guidance and assistance.

Many regulations have been enforced, and I’m sure there will be new ones to follow, but as long as you’re ready to receive all the help you need, we’re confident you will experience little to no hurdles during your trip.

If you’re feeling the same, give us a call or send us an email. We could all use the help during these times, and there’s no better way to obtain it than from experts!