Real ID requirement set to begin in 2025

Your current state-issued driver's license might not be enough to board a plane starting May 7, 2025.
Real ID Deadline
Posted at 6:18 AM, May 08, 2024

If you are getting your license or ID renewed in the next year, consider bringing extra documents with you.

Starting May 7, 2025, Real IDs will be required instead of standard licenses or IDs to fly on nearly all domestic commercial flights. The program was set to begin in May 2023, but was delayed 24 months.

Congress passed the Real ID requirement in 2005. Currently, a standard state-issued ID or driver's license is all that is required to board a domestic flight. But that will soon change.

To obtain a real ID, you will need the following documents when getting a state-issued driver's license or ID: full legal name; date of birth (generally a birth certificate); Social Security number; two proofs of address of principal residence (like a utility bill); and lawful status.

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Officials say enhanced driver's licenses, like ones available in certain border states, and passports will remain viable alternatives to Real IDs. Real IDs will also be required to enter certain federal buildings, such as courthouses.

Minors under age 18 will not be required to show a Real ID when traveling with a companion.

States can continue issuing licenses and IDs that do not meet Real ID requirements, but airport security will not accept these cards.

"The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards," the Department of Homeland Security said. "Security standards include incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be."