What is a REAL ID and why do you need one?
A REAL ID, indicated by a star on your driver's license, is a requirement for flying, among other things. Find out what it means.
Beginning in the fall of 2021, a new driver's license will be required for Americans who wish to travel domestically via commercial aircraft. Known as a REAL ID, this will also be required for entry to certain federal facilities.
What is a REAL ID exactly? The REAL ID Act, established in 2005 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, authorizes a federal standard for the issuance and production of identification cards and driver's licenses. How do you know if you already have one? There will be a star on driver's licenses on the upper right corner.
If your license isn't set to expire before then or you haven't visited a licensing facility yet, don't panic. You can still travel as long as you have an alternative document such as a passport or passport card.
In addition, some states are handling these requirements differently, and there are some exceptions, too. Keep reading to understand the new rules surrounding REAL IDs and what it means for you.