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Do you need a Real ID to Fly?

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

Please note, as of April 28, 2021, the implementation of Real ID was postponed until 2023. For all the overachievers out there, below is what you need to know for when you travel in two years.
Security Checkpoint in airport

Everything you need to know about REAL ID

On October 1, 2021, U.S. travelers must be REAL ID compliant to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities. If you have travel plans for the fall of 2021, you will want to double check that your ID is REAL ID compliant. Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses”. The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, and it prohibits Federal agencies from accepting identification cards that do not meet these standards. Its purpose is to protect the nation’s transportation system and eliminate terrorism by increasing document requirements.

Security Screening at Airport
Dude, why are you screening me? I booked a private jet!

I have booked a private plane. Do I need to worry about a REAL ID?

The implementation of the REAL ID Act will impact all air travelers. This includes our sports air charter partners, large group charters, and everybody that wants to charter a private jet. Even if your flight has private screening, stadium screening, or you travel through a private FBO, the REAL ID act provides a minimum security standard for all air travel, enforced by the TSA.

So what does this really mean?

Beginning on October 1, 2021, all states must issue Real ID-compliant licenses or IDs for accessing Federal facilities and boarding commercial aircraft (including when you charter a private jet). If you do not present a REAL ID compliant license or acceptable alternative documents, such as an enhanced drivers’ license/EDL, or a passport, you will not be permitted through the airport’s security checkpoint. For international travel, your passport will suffice.

Do I have to get a REAL ID?

You are required to get a real ID if you meet the following:

  • You intend to fly domestically with only your state-issued ID

  • You don’t have a passport or an acceptable alternative document

  • You need to visit a Federal facility and don’t have a military ID

There are exceptions to the rule, such as individuals under the age of 18 are not required to have a REAL ID.

REAL ID Identification card required for Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
REAL ID Deadline 10/01/2021

How do I get a REAL ID?

Visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency website to find out what documents are required to obtain a REAL ID. Some states may have additional requirements, so you will want to check their website before visiting their location.

How do I know if my ID is REAL ID compliant?

REAL ID compliant cards will have a star marking in the upper corner of the card. In some states, this will be a gold or black star. Keep in mind there are different variations of this marking. If your card does not have a REAL ID marking, it will not be accepted as proof of identity in order to board a commercial aircraft. A quick way to find out if your card is not compliant is if it says “Not for Federal Identification” or “Federal Limits Apply.”

How to identify an ID that is REAL ID Compliant

Take the necessary steps to obtain your REAL ID now and avoid the last minute rush at the DMV or missing your flight!


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