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REAL ID Deadline Approaches

Update:

This article has been updated to reflect the REAL ID deadline being moved from October 1st, 2020 to 2021.

Traveling soon?

If your travel plans fall in 2021, you’re going to need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license, an Ohio issued ID card, US Passport, US military ID or other accepted identification to board a flight within the United States.  After the REAL ID deadline, only a REAL ID will function as federal Identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings. This is because of the REAL ID Act, which was passed by congress in 2005 but won’t be going into effect until this October.

How to know if you have a REAL ID?

REAL ID’s are marked with one of the following star-shaped symbols on the upper part of the card. Ohio’s symbol is a black outlined star. If your state-issued ID does not have one of the pictured designs, you will be unable to get through TSA Security at the airport without another form of ID, such as a passport or permanent residence card.

*image credit Department of Homeland Security

What’s the REAL ID Act?

According to The Department of Homeland Security, the REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 in order to set standards for how sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses, are issued. The act sets up minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies (like the TSA) from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. If you plan on accessing any Federal facilities, boarding a commercial aircraft or entering any nuclear power plants, you’ll need to get a REAL ID during or before 2021.

How to get your REAL ID

In order to get a REAL ID of your own, you should head to the nearest Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) with proof of the following:

  • Your full legal name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your legal presence in the US
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your Ohio street address (two documents from different sources that prove your Ohio street address are required, such as a pay stub and a utility bill)
  • Proof of name change (if your current name has changed from the name on your birth certificate, you’ll need to bring an original or certified copy of a document that shows the legal change of your name)

If you follow these directions and make sure you have a state-issued REAL ID or license, your travel plans are safe and sound. To learn more, check out the Ohio BMV website www.bmv.ohio.gov.