Real ID: What You Need To Know.

UPDATE 04/27/2021: Due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there is a new deadline of May 3, 2023 to obtain your Real ID. We have updated the blog below and will add additional information as it becomes available. 

Real ID… Real Pain. How to Navigate the Real ID Laws Going into Effect May 3, 2023.

You’ve probably heard the rumblings about the Real ID for a few years and how it could affect your future travel. With the confusion around the requirements, deadlines and processes, we’re here to help you navigate the options and ensure you are able to travel in 2023 and beyond.

Here’s the scoop – as of May 3, 2023:

  • To fly domestically, everyone 18 years or older will need a valid US passport OR a Real ID license
  • To fly internationally, you will still need a valid US passport


So, what is the Real ID and how do you know if you have it?
According to Homeland Security, the REAL ID Act set minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses for people 18+ years old and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.

So do you have a Real ID?
If you’re a resident of PA or NJ and you have not renewed your driver’s license in the past few months, you most likely do NOT have the Real ID. The Real ID has a five-pointed star in the upper right hand corner of the license.

Is there an alternative that can I present to airport security to fly domestically if I do not have a Real ID by May 3, 2023?
You can use a valid U.S. passport or passport card, a U.S. Military ID, a DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST).

Where can you get the Real ID?
The DMV can help you obtain a Real ID. Pennsylvania takes on average 15 business days or 3 weeks to process a Real ID. To be safe, it’s recommended you apply for your Real ID as soon as possible to avoid congestion closer to the October 1 deadline. The interim or temporary state-issued driver’s licenses are not currently an acceptable form of ID, so it’s best to start the process sooner than later.

How does Real ID affect children?
TSA does not require children under the age of 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. Contact your airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18. The companion adult will be required to have the proper identification.

To learn more about the Real ID, visit or or speak with one of our Travel Specialists.

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