The Deadline for REAL ID Compliance Is Only One Year Away

As we enter October, it’s important to remember that the deadline for REAL ID compliance is less than a year away. Starting October 1, 2020, all air travelers are required to present a state-issued driver’s license, valid passport, military ID or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license to board a flight within the United States. If you are not prepared for REAL ID compliance, you will not be able to get to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint or fly.

What Is REAL ID Compliance?

REAL ID compliance is designed to make commercial aviation safer and validate the identity of anyone boarding an airplane. The Department of Homeland Security is working alongside states to ensure that REAL ID compliance is taking effect and that citizens are being notified of new requirements. In January 2017, only 26 states had licenses that were considered REAL ID compliant. Now, 47 out of 50 states are REAL ID compliant. While many states have made progress, only 27% of Americans currently have a REAL ID, which means that there’s a good chance you haven’t received yours yet.

What Types of Identification Will Count?

Outside of REAL IDs, you can use other different methods of identification, including:

  • US Passport
  • US Passport Card
  • DHS Trusted Traveler Card
  • Border Crossing Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • More listed here

How Do You Know If You Have a REAL ID?

There are currently five different symbols used to denote a REAL ID on a driver’s license or REAL ID:

  • Gold star
  • Black star
  • Gold circle with a star cutout
  • Black circle with a star cutout
  • Gold grizzly bear with a star cutout

Four states issue REAL ID and state-issued driver’s licenses that are both acceptable: Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota and New York. If you are not sure whether or not you have a REAL ID, you can visit your state’s website or the Department of Homeland Security for more information. The RELA ID Act was initially passed in 2005, with October 1, 2020 as the deadline, and states are going to be held to that date.

Help With REAL ID Compliance

If you are unsure of how to ensure your compliance with new REAL ID laws or have other concerns about your passport or immigration status, you need a skilled lawyer. Consult with an experienced attorney like those of the Law Office of Elizabeth A. Lawrence today.

Contact Us

    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

  • Email:

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