Flying with the REAL ID – New deadline agreed

REAL ID will be required for domestic US flights

What is the REAL ID?

“Beginning May 7, 2025, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.” (1)

The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance at the federal level. The purposes covered by the Act include boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. Passed by Congress in 2005 following a 9/11 Commission recommendation, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.

All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

When will the REAL ID become regulation?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the REAL ID full enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023 to May 7, 2025 (2). States will now have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act.

How to check you have a REAL ID

If your state-issued driver’s license / ID has a star (and/or flag) or says “Enhanced”, it’s likely you have a REAL ID.

If you hold a driver’s license/ID from a state not yet compliant, and you use it to clear TSA Security at airports when travelling domestically, you will need to show an alternative acceptable form of identification once the deadline passes.

Alternative forms of ID accepted include;

  • U.S. passport or passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
  • An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized, Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)



  1. REAL ID deadline extended – Transport Security Administration
  2. DHS Announces Extension of REAL ID Full Enforcement Deadline – Department of Homeland Security

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