The provisions of the Real ID Act, which set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards, go into effect on Oct. 1, 2020 — almost exactly one year.
This has implications on air travel, as travelers will be required to present a Real ID Act-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of identification to fly within the United States.
Formulated in the wake of September 11, 2002 and passed by Congress in 2005, the Real ID Act was passed to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” It was aimed at eliminating airline terrorism by increasing requirements to obtain documents granting access to domestic planes.
Here’s the problem: as many as three out of four Americans do not or may not have driver license or IDs that are compliant — most of them in the Northeast part of the country.
Since Orlando International Airport is one of the busiest in the country for traveler volume, airport officials are doing what they can to educate those who will or may be coming through as a passenger.
“It is critical for the traveling public to know not only that this change is coming, but that the deadline is quickly approaching,” said Phil Brown, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA). “Here at Orlando International Airport, we take our role seriously when it comes to educating the public on changes that could affect their travel plans.”
How do I know if I’m Real ID compliant?
If you’ve renewed your Florida driver license within the past decade or so, you should see a star in the upper-right corner of the ID, meaning you are A-OK. But multiple states, including Orlando International Airport’s major feeder markets in the Northeast United States, are not automatically updating driver’s licenses to meet the requirement. Travelers from those and other states have to request an updated license and pay a fee for it — or see their travel plans altered, possibly impacting the local economy.