Traveling is something that most of us look forward to all year long. But, with traveling, comes the stress of it all. Packing, transit times, crowded places, and many more obstacles stand in our way of having a good time. Nevertheless, we grin and bare it until we arrive at one of our favorite safe havens, or even a new place we’ve been dreaming about exploring for years. To add to the list of things that we must consider and prepare for before our travels, the REAL ID act final deadline is quickly creeping up on us. Starting October 1, 2020 in order to fly within the U.S., citizens of the country as well as foreign residents must show REAL ID compliant identification when boarding an aircraft.

Why is this new step required?

Following the 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States of America, congress began work on making our country more secure. This effort includes programs to ensure the protection of an individual’s identification. By requiring further proof of identification when traveling throughout the country, or even entering certain federal buildings, we eliminate some of the potential risk we previously had.

The good news:

DMVs across the country have been upgrading licenses upon renewal, provided the required identification was verified at the time of renewal, since 2011. So, yours may already be compliant with new regulations! You can check if your license has REAL ID certification by looking at the top right corner of your license card. There should be a star.

The other good news is you have just enough time still to renew your license so that it meets the fast-approaching new guidelines. All you need to do is collect proper paperwork proving your identity (i.e. birth certificate, social security card/number, citizenship, etc), and head over to the DMV.

Lastly, in case your license isn’t already updated, and life is to hectic to find 3 spare hours to spend at the DMV, there are other options of acceptable forms if ID for air travel (the most common being a passport). You can check these on the TSA website.

Whatever the case may be, nothing should get in the way of your travels. Preparation for this deadline might even be less stressful than figuring out what you need to pack for your upcoming three-week vacation! Don’t let anything stop you from exploring the world and unwinding.


Don’t forget travel insurance to keep you protected from the things you can’t prepare for! Ask your travel professional about Travel Insured’s protection plans or get a quote at


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