Airplane graphic(Jan. 2020) Just in time for South Florida’s next high winter season, on October 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will start requiring all Americans to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of authenticated ID to go through airport security checkpoints. A traditional driver’s license will no longer be accepted through airport security and federal facilities.

Check your wallet. Most REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses feature a star in the upper-right corner. The style of the star will vary depending on the state. Unless you plan to start using your U.S. passport for ALL flights, the DMV is where you will go to get a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license. There is no reason to wait. Plan early or you could be left behind. Visit dhs.gov/real-id to see if your state or territory is Real ID ready.

“Currently, the State of Florida IS in compliance with its driver licenses, but many of our visitors from other states are not, Real IDS examplesays Elaine Fitzgerald, president/CEO of Beach Vacation Rentals in Pompano Beach, Florida. “Among those states not yet in compliance are Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington.”

An estimated 99 million Americans do not have any form of identification that will be accepted at airports after October 1, 2020, and the majority of Americans are unaware of the October 1, 2020 deadline for enforcement. Air travel risks being seriously disrupted if millions of passengers are turned away on that date for not having the necessary documents to fly.

Beach Vacation Rentals is working with the larger travel industry and our government partners to educate travelers on REAL ID enforcement. Policy changes do allow for some alternative forms of authentication in place of a REAL ID at airport security checkpoints—including biometric screening and existing enrollment in Trusted Traveler Programs.  These can help mitigate the effects of REAL ID enforcement, while also ensuring a secure and efficient screening process.

It is our desire that all air travelers flying within the U.S. secure a REAL ID compliant form of identification well ahead of next year’s deadline in order to keep the air travel process moving without disruption.

REAL ID enforcement is coming—let’s make sure we’re all prepared.