Real ID


Did you know that, effective from October 1, 2021 (Shift back to May 7, 2025), you will no longer be able to use your regular driver’s license as identification on domestic travel in the United States?

Before that, when boarding a domestic flight, even if you do not carry a passport, if you have a regular driver’s license issued by each state, you could pass through the airport security gate.

However, a conventional driver’s license will no longer be available as an ID for domestic flights effective on May 7, 2025, and a new ID card called Real ID will be required instead.

Historically, the 911 in 2001 triggered to create this law called the Real ID Law, but it is for the purpose of eliminating counterfeit driver’s licenses and illegal immigrants.

The design slightly varies from state to state, but unlike a regular driver’s license, the real ID is the one with a star on the top right.

It is not difficult to obtain a Real ID, and if you already have a driver’s license in the U.S., you only need to apply for it at the DMV with the necessary documents.

In New York, where I live, U.S. citizens can obtain an ID card that is integrated with their driver’s license and Real ID; while other people, such as those who are in the U.S. with a visa status, cannot obtain that integrated ID, so they must obtain a Real ID separately from their driver’s license.

Examples of new York state documents include your current driver’s license, passport, Form I-94, and Form W-2 with a Social Security Number (SSN) card or SSN card.

I personally do not like to carry extra id card since my wallet is already bulky, but I can’t help it if I consider public safety.

TSA Official Website

REAL ID | Homeland Security

New York Real ID Application Page

Federal REAL ID
What REAL ID means to you Beginning on May 7, 2025, the federal government will require your driver license, permit or ID card to be REAL ID compliant if you wi...