On October 1st, 2020, about 13 months from now, travelers will not be allowed to board a flight without a REAL ID, or some kind of alternative identification such as a passport.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has launched a push for people to get their new REAL ID driver’s licenses or state IDs as the deadline to get them draws near.

Your first question might be "Do I need one?"

According to the TSA's website, you will need one if:

  • You do not have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; AND
  • You use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or
  • You visit military bases; or
  • You visit secure federal facilities.

You won't need one if:

  • You have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; or
  • You do not use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or
  • You do not visit military bases; or
  • You do not visit secure federal facilities.

CBS 2 Chicago:

Congress passed the REAL ID Act into law in 2005 following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, setting national security standards for state drivers licenses and IDs. Enforcement of those requirements, however, has repeatedly been delayed.

REAL IDs require state applicants to submit paperwork to prove who they are and their established residence in the U.S. TSA Administrator David Pekoske told CBS News the move to REAL ID will “dramatically improve commercial aviation security.”

REAL IDs cannot be received through the mail. In Illinois, they can only be applied for at Secretary of State’s office Driver Service Facilities, not the express locations.

Thus, the TSA is starting the new awareness campaign push early to avoid a bigger rush at local DMVs.

“If you don’t get it done as early as possible, everybody’s going to be rushing at the last minute and we don’t want somebody to get in a situation where they come to the airport ready to fly on vacation and then suddenly they can’t get through,”