Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

REAL ID Confused

Explorer C

Planning a family vacation this summer.  I'm a litttle confused on the REAL ID question.  The DOT site makes it even more so.  We are traveling to and from states that are compliant but I'm not sure if you need the REAL ID (the one with the star on your DL) or not.  I'd like to know so I can get it taken care of if need be.



Re: Confused - early bird checkin or family boarding?

Aviator A

The real ID is mainly affected by your home state - i.e. whether your driver's license is compliant, it's not affected by the states that you are traveling to and from. 


As far as I know right now each state is currently either complying with the program or has been granted an extension through the fall. A few states got their extensions relatively recently so you'll see 2017 articles that list some non-compliant states. and American Samoa is on the non-compliant list.


One thing I'm not sure of - the articles all mention compliance by the state, but not that an individual has to get the new ID immediately when it is available. The state's compliance status assumes an implementation period.


From - it doesn't actually say that a passenger must have REAL ID, only that your ID must be issued by a compliant state...


Starting January 22, 2018, passengers who have driver's licenses issued by a state that is not yet compliant with REAL ID and that has not received an extension will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel. Please see TSA's website for a list of acceptable forms of identification. Passengers who have licenses issued by a state that is compliant or that has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual. For a list of states already in compliance or with an extension visit DHS's REAL ID webpage. DHS continually updates this list as more states come into compliance or obtain extensions.


Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.