Originally introduced in 2005, the DHS REAL ID Act aims to establish minimum standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses and identification cards—including security features within the cards, and verification of an applicant’s source documents. Once officially rolled out, the REAL ID requirements will impact the acceptable documentation that can be used as identification by travelers boarding commercial aircraft and for other official purposes.
Currently, the states that have met the standards of the REAL ID Act include the following:
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
DHS has reported that it will be working with the remaining states to “develop a schedule for the phased enforcement of the Act’s statutory prohibitions to ensure that residents of all states are treated in a fair manner.” DHS expects to have a schedule for implementation by early fall 2013. We’ll keep you posted on the progress as we learn more.
In the meantime, the beginning of a new year is a good time to check the expiration dates of your critical identification documents: driver’s license, passport, identification card. Then you’ll be in good shape to go where your travels will take you in 2013.
Additional information about the REAL ID Act is available via the DHS website.
From those of us at the CWT Savvy Traveler blog, we hope 2012 has treated you well, and we wish you safe and enjoyable travels in 2013!