You Now Have Less Than a Year to Obtain a Real ID

The deadline to obtain a Real ID is May 7, 2025.

<p>Jeffrey Greenberg/Getty Images</p>

Jeffrey Greenberg/Getty Images

The countdown is on for an important change with airport security. 

In less than a year, travelers will no longer be able to use a standard driver's license when going through airport security, and will be required to use a license with the Real ID accreditation. Real ID is an added identity check that is applied on a standard driver’s license. 

Travelers will need the updated identification by May 7, 2025, or otherwise use a passport to get through security. Airline passengers who do not have a Real ID or an approved alternative by the deadline will be turned away, and not able to proceed through a security checkpoint.

In order to obtain the Real ID, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up a helpful interactive map for citizens to select their state or territory where their license was obtained, and follow steps to get their ID updated. Often, people will automatically receive a Real ID when they go through a regular update of an expired license, however it is helpful to check and ask if the new license is considered a Real ID. 

The requirements for a Real ID include showing two proofs of address at a principal address, according to the DHS website. Some states require additional proof of identity, such as a valid U.S. passport, birth certificate, or other approved documents. 

“Secure driver's licenses and identification documents are a vital component of our national security framework. DHS/TSA is committed to enforcing the Real ID Act,” the DHS shares on their site. 

In an effort to create awareness of the upcoming deadline, various state and national government agencies have taken to social media to spread the word. 

"Time flies & so can you!" the California Department of Motor Vehicles shared on X

The REAL ID was originally signed into law by President George W. Bush in May 2005, and has been extended several times in 2009, 2011, 2014, and then again in 2020 and 2022 during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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