The Real ID

by Jane Ahrens
Photo Credit Derek Croucher

What Travelers Need to Know About the Real ID Deadline Extension

Condé Nast Traveler, December 5, 2022 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would once again push back the deadline to acquire a Real ID—a new and enhanced form of driver’s license—by two years, to May 2025.

Previously, the new federal rules that require a Real ID-compliant form of identification to board any domestic airline flight were set to take effect on May 3, 2023. However, DHS extended the timeline due to lingering delays and backlogs caused by COVID. The later deadline is good news for U.S. travelers planning to fly next year who had yet to acquire the new enhanced IDs. The new federal rules are now set to take effect on May 7, 2025. 

Find the Answers to these Questions


  • When is the Real ID deadline?
  • How do I get a Real ID driver’s license?
  • What other forms of identification work to board a plane under the new rules?
  • Does my child need a Real ID to fly?
  • What happens if I show up at the airport without an acceptable ID under the new rules?
  • and more!

Visit this link to see which is right for you:

Getting a REAL ID is not mandatory but is encouraged. A REAL ID is optional and is not needed for the following*:

  • Being licensed to drive
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
  • Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
  • Accessing health or life-preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

*Rules are changing so be sure to check!

Published January 2023

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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