real ID 2020

Real ID 2020 | Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute!

As the holiday season arrives and we look to the New Year, planning ahead is never a bad thing. The holiday season is a great time of year to consider travel plans for the upcoming year. After all, if you’re planning any adventures, it is the perfect time to request travel gifts and accessories, gift ideas that coincide with your dream vacation, and it can even tie into your new year’s resolutions. If looking forward means planning that next great bucket list vacation, one thing to get a jump start on is your travel documents. If you’re not aware of what the REAL ID Act is, now’s a great time to read up and get ahead of the Real ID 2020 deadline.

In order to prep for the Real ID deadline, there’s a few things you can do to ensure you’re not left empty handed. Remember, you’ll need a Real ID or other approved form of ID to utilize domestic flights. While it is not mandatory to obtain a Real ID, if you’re able to upgrade to this new, more secure version of state-issued ID, it will make traveling domestically much easier.

Preparing for the Real ID 2020 deadline

While you are not required by law to upgrade your regular driver’s license to a Real ID, doing so means you’ll hold a more secure type of ID. This means you won’t need to carry a secondary form of ID to enter federal properties or board domestic flights. Federal facilities include prisons, military facilities and other establishments or properties owned or operated by the federal government. Below are some frequently asked questions and a list of items you’ll want to have when you decide to update your ID. 

Q: Will it cost me money to upgrade my ID?

A: Yes, there is a one-time fee associated with upgrading to a Real ID. The cost will vary by state, but is usually less than $60.

Q: Will my regular state-issued license still be ok for driving?

A: Yes, your license will still work as always, unless you’re trying to board a commercial flight or enter a federal facility.

Q: What types of documents or identification do I need to bring with me when applying for my Real ID?

A: In order to upgrade your state-issued ID to a Real ID, you will need to bring a primary form of ID that is not your current driver’s license. You can use any of the following documents for this purpose:

  • Certified copy of birth certificate – if you don’t have a certified copy, you can obtain one through VitalChek.com.
  • U.S. Passport or Passport card
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • Certificate of Citizenship 
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Employment Authorization Document
  • Foreign Passport with valid U.S. visa affixed along with approved Form I-94 documenting the applicant’s most recent admittance to the U.S.
  • Permanent Resident Card

Q: Why can’t I board a domestic flight with my regular ID anymore?

A: The REAL ID Act was put into effect to ensure holders of Real IDs have been more securely screened. This is to ensure travelers are not a safety concern. 

Q: What if I don’t want to upgrade to a Real ID? What are my options?

A: Holding a U.S. Passport or Passport Card will allow you access to federal properties and will allow you to board domestic flights. 

Q: How long does it take to get my Real ID after applying?

A: In most cases, the turn-around time will be less than 14 business days. 

The purpose of the REAL ID Act is to ensure a more secure way to screen residents. While you are not required to obtain one, it may make things less complicated while traveling if you carry one. When it comes to planning your international travel adventures, you will still need to obtain a passport and the appropriate travel visas. The fact of the matter is, you’ll be required to make a decision on whether getting a Real ID in 2020 is the route you want to take, as the official deadline comes to pass in October! Good luck and we hope obtaining your upgraded ID goes smoothly!

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