Many US travelers use their driver’s license as their form of identification. The Department of Homeland Security reported that 47 out of 50 states are currently REAL ID compliant, up from January of 2017, when only 26 states were REAL ID compliant. However, only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID. Many Americans have a valid drivers license that was issued before their state’s REAL ID license was put into effect, and have no idea that their driver’s license will not allow them to travel by air, train or water or for any other United States travel where an ID is required.
The see if your state driver’s license or identification card is REAL ID-compliant check if there’s a star in the upper right-hand corner. Some state departments of motor vehicles confirm REAL ID status online. (photo from DHS website)
To get a REAL ID-compliant state driver’s license, the US Department of Homeland Security requires applicants to provide documentation that shows their full legal name, their date of birth, their Social Security Number, two proofs of address of principal residence and lawful status. Each state may impose additional identification requirements.
REAL ID and TSA Pre-Check are 2 of the 9/11 Commission’s travel safety recommendations to the federal government.