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article imageOne year from REAL ID deadline, most Americans are without

By Karen Graham     Oct 2, 2019 in Technology
On October 1, 2020, travelers will need a "REAL ID-compliant" driver's license, US passport, US military ID or other accepted identification to fly on commercial aircraft within the United States. Yet only 27 percent of Americans have one.
Starting Oct. 1, 2020, travelers will need an upgraded driver's license - what's known as a REAL ID—to access airport security checkpoints, nuclear power plants, and certain federal buildings. This enhanced driver's license will a star in the upper, right-hand corner, and will be required at the airport gate unless you have another accepted form of ID.
In 2005, Congress passed the Real ID Act in response to concerns of the 9/11 Commission, which found that it was too easy for people to obtain driver's licenses, thus posing a security risk. Basically, this means that now, in order to get a driver's license, you need to present a birth certificate or green card, a Social Security card and two documents that show your address.
However, a study done for the U.S. Travel Association shows that 3 out of 4 Americans (27 percent) don't have a REAL ID driver's license or are unaware of needing it.
Erik Hansen, vice president for government relations at U.S. Travel, says this will present a real problem for would-be airline passengers next year. Hansen estimates that as many as 78,000 people could possibly be turned away on the first day of the new requirement, at an estimated cost to the economy of $40 million.
And while most Americans surveyed said they support government action to mitigate challenges posed by REAL ID Implementations, 57 percent were unaware of the October 1, 2020 deadline for getting the Real ID.
A Boeing 737 Max 8 flown by Southwest Airlines taxis to the gate at Baltimore Washington Internation...
A Boeing 737 Max 8 flown by Southwest Airlines taxis to the gate at Baltimore Washington International Airport near Baltimore, Maryland, on March 13, 2019
The survey also found that if Americans fail to obtain proper identification ahead of October 1, 2020, the disruption to air travel could have a significant impact on the U.S. economy. This is a real concern to U.S. Travel, which represents major airlines, hotels, state and local tourism boards and other travel industry members that could lose customers who suddenly can't fly within the United States starting October 1, 2020.
"Unfortunately it means they're gonna learn the hard way what the Department of Homeland Security has said," Hansen tells NPR. "If you don't have one of the compliant IDs, either a REAL ID or one of the alternatives, like a passport, you're actually gonna be turned away at the checkpoint and you're not going to be allowed to board your flight."
What qualifies as a REAL ID
• REAL ID-compliant state driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards
• US passport
• US passport card
• DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
• US Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
• Permanent resident card
• Border crossing card
• State-issued Enhanced Driver's License
• Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
• HSPD-12 PIV card
• Foreign government-issued passport
• Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
• Transportation worker identification credential
• US Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
• US Merchant Mariner Credential
Check the Department of Homeland Security website for more information.
More about Real ID, 2005 REAL ID Act, us department of homeland security, a star at the top, October 1 2020
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