Best Cruises & Tours
Call Now: 1-800-576-2378

The REAL ID Act: What it Means When Planning Your Cruise

Planning a cruise is such an exciting time. Preparations are made months, if not years in advance, to make sure that every last detail is covered before you embark on your adventure.

Flying is a necessary part of the journey for most travelers, and it’s imperative to make sure you have all the mandatory identification before heading to the airport. With so many regulations, and some of them constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up with all of the requirements needed. Luckily, we’re here to help break down some of the newest changes going into effect next year.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently begun promoting their new REAL ID Act. Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age or older must present a REAL ID compliant form of identification to fly within the United States.

What is a REAL ID?

A REAL ID is a driver’s license or identification card that is also a federally accepted form of identification. It can be used to board a domestic flight within the U.S. as well as enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases, federal courthouses, and other secure federal locations. In most states, you’ll be able to recognize a REAL ID by the gold or black star to signify compliance. If you see this, you can rest assured you have the proper form of identification for your flight.

To make matters a little more complicated, some states are issuing enhanced drivers licenses without the star and these are still acceptable forms of a REAL ID. Therefore, it’s best to check with your state directly if you don’t see a star.

What Does This Mean for You?

Since airports are considered federal facilities, this act will affect your ability to enter them in order to board your flight. Most states and territories have already begun issuing new, compliant licenses, so you’ll have until October 1, 2020 to obtain one.

However, if you choose to use another TSA approved ID, such as a passport, you will not need to present a REAL ID, so the good news is there are still options available to you.

How Do I Obtain a Compliant ID?

You can obtain an updated license at your local DMV by presenting the following documents:

  • Proof of identity, such as a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card, or foreign passport with an approved form I-94.
  • Proof of your Social Security Number, such as an SSN card, W-2, or paystub with full SSN.
  • (2) Proof of residency documents, such as a rental or lease agreement, mortgage bill, utility bill or employment, medical or school document.
  • If applicable: An original or certified copy of a name change document, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, may be required.

The REAL ID Act is not meant to prevent you from traveling or to make your life more difficult, in fact it’s just the opposite. Having a compliant ID should make flying easier, since most people carry their licenses more frequently than their passports. We hope you find this information useful in planning your upcoming cruise!