Federal REAL ID requirement goes into effect in 1 year

Posted: Updated:

In just one year, all U.S. citizens will be required to have a federal REAL ID in order to board a domestic flight.

TSA and DMV officials say everyone will need the new license to board a domestic flight after Oct. 1, 2020.

The upgraded license was part of a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission in 2005.

Drivers can also upgrade to an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL). An enhanced license is a New York state DMV-issued document that can be used instead of a passport to return to the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the Caribbean.

Officials say many people still don't know about the rule, which the TSA says is a problem.

TSA officials say 73% of Americans don't have the new compliant ID's. And three states, Oregon, Oklahoma and New Jersey, haven't fully rolled out their REAL ID programs. Officials are worried about a last-minute rush by travelers to get the new ID's.

"We strongly urge travelers to take action as soon as possible to ensure that they are ready well before the deadline," says Patricia Cogswell, the acting deputy commissioner of the TSA.

To upgrade, people must go to the DMV in person.

The TSA says if you don't get a compliant driver's license, a valid passport, military ID or a trusted traveler ID like a Global Entry card will be accepted.

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