REAL ID is one year away – are you ready?

Did you know: Starting October 1, 2020, travelers 18 years and older will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight in the United States?

That is due to a new federal law known as the REAL ID Act.

REAL ID requires all states to comply with new ID standards for air travel. Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act was based on a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses and identification cards.

What does that mean exactly?

In one year, travelers flying within the United States will need more than a standard state-issued driver’s license to fly. They will need to have a REAL ID compliant license or another acceptable form of ID – like a valid passport, permanent resident card or U.S. military ID – to fly within the U.S. The full list of accepted IDs can be found at

Here is what PDX travelers need to know about REAL ID.

When does the law go into effect?
October 1, 2020. On that day, you’ll need a REAL ID to fly at any airport in the United States.

I live in Oregon. Can I get a REAL ID license?
There is one small problem for Oregon residents. Oregon DMV cannot begin offering a REAL ID compliant ID until July 6, 2020. You can see the problem – long lines at DMV offices as residents scramble to upgrade their license before October 1. 

To avoid that rush, there are other TSA-accepted IDs you can get today, like a passport or passport card. Learn how you can obtain a passport, or explore all your Oregon ID options at

Oregon previously got extensions for REAL ID. Are you sure there won’t be another?
All states need to be ready by October 1, 2020. There will be no further extensions from TSA.

I live in Washington state. Can I get a REAL ID license?
Yes. Washington state is issuing REAL ID compliant licenses now. They are referred to as an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card. Unlike other states, Washington’s REAL ID license does not have a star – but it is still a valid REAL ID. Learn how to get yours.

I live in another state. Am I REAL ID compliant?
If you are not sure if your ID complies, confirm with your state department of motor vehicles.

What kind of documents do I need to get a REAL ID?
Getting REAL ID requires submitting an original birth certificate or passport, a Social Security card, proof of residency and documentation of any name changes. Before you head in to get your REAL ID, use this tool from Oregon DMV to prepare your document checklist.

What about children?
TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with an adult within the United States. Contact your airline for questions about specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

So, a passport works? Do I still need another ID next October?
If you have a passport, and remember to bring it, you have all you need to fly in the United States.

Is a passport my only other option?
No. TSA currently accepts several other forms of identity documents and will continue to do so. For more information on acceptable forms of ID, please see TSA’s website.

Oh, it’s a year away – I still have plenty of time.
It might feel like that, but most states expect long lines as the REAL ID deadline gets closer. Avoid those long lines if you can – get what you need today. We’d hate for you to miss your flight!

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