We Got Our Travel ID! Do You Need One?

Our new Travel IDs will arrive in about a week. Yes, I know we don’t need them until 2020. And, I know I could start to use my passport for domestic flights. A driver’s license is certainly easier, though, and I thought doing it early might be a good idea. It only took about 15 minutes at the local MDV office. We arrived prepared, got our pictures taken, went through our documents at one of the desks, paid our $25 and now we are good for 5 years.

Notice the Gold Star

What is it?

Beginning October 1, 2020, you will no longer be able to use your driver’s license to board an airplane unless you have a Travel ID that complies with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. A Travel ID is available as both a driver license and identification card. The Travel ID will serve as valid identification to pass through airport security to board commercial aircraft as well as access restricted areas in federal facilities, nuclear power plants and military facilities.

The 4 Step Process in Arizona

Step 1: Fill out the on-line application. You’ll get a confirmation with a barcode. Either print this out or save on your phone. They will ask you for the barcode when you check in.

Step 2: Make an Appointment with MDV. You can do this online at your closest office.

Step 3: Gather your documents. There are 3 categories and 4 documents that you must bring with you.

For Arizona, a full list of documents that will be accepted is available at www.azdot.gov/TravelID.

One document to establish citizenship or legal presence Certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport or valid immigration documents
One document to confirm Social Security information Social Security Card, SS 1099 or W-2 form
Two documents to establish proof of residency Bank statement, utility bill or Arizona Voter Registration Card

Step 4: Show up for your appointment with your online application, documents and $25.

How Long is it Valid?

Federal requirements require the Travel ID to be valid for a maximum of eight years. Exceptions do apply including drivers age 65 or older whose licenses are currently valid for five years. For non-U.S. citizens who have authorized legal presence the expiration date will be based off the immigration documents presented, not to exceed eight years.

Is this the only ID TSA will accept?

No, the entire list is available on the TSA Website

How do I know if my Driver’s License is Compliant?

REAL ID-compliant cards are generally marked with a star located in the upper portion of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card.

If you live in Arizona

ADOT has posted all the information here.

Authorized Third Party Driver License Locations

You can also go to the third party locations that are authorized in Arizona. There is a list hereh

If you live elsewhere, Is Your State Compliant?

Homeland Security page has an overview page with information about every state.

Status of All States

So, you can decide if you need one. Less than 50% of US residents have a passport. Without one or one of the other compliant documents, you’ll definitely want to do this. Having an extra compliant form of ID seems like a good idea to me. My recommendation is to do it soon at your convenience or, if you are renewing your license in the next year, get the TRAVEL ID then. Closer to October 2020, there is likely to be a rush.

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