REAL ID deadline for air travel just 1 year away

If you are planning on flying domestically in a year’s time, you will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license.

Starting May 3, 2023, anyone traveling by air in the U.S. will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, enhanced driver’s license, passport or other acceptable identification.

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005, following recommendations from the 9/11 Commission to set standards for federal identification. TSA says REAL ID-compliant identification cards are marked with a star at the top, and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses are marked with a flag—enhanced driver’s licenses will be accepted by airport security once REAL ID enforcement starts.

Other states issue REAL ID licenses and enhanced driver’s licenses, but Washington issues only enhanced driver’s licenses.

Alaska Airlines warns that state licensing agencies will likely get bogged down with long wait times as May 2023 gets closer, and officials urge you to get this checked off as soon as possible.

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You can find more information on REAL ID at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.