Real ID deadline approaches, travelers react

This time next year, travelers will need Real ID-compliant identification cards to board domestic flights and enter federal buildings.

Millions of Americans fly domestically every day, and most of them use a drivers license to check in, but on October 1, 2020, those licenses will need to be Real ID-compliant, something many people are putting off.

“I’m gonna probably wait till the last minute to get my Real ID, just when I have to,” admitted William Stefan, waiting to board a flight.

It’s an honest answer, and one 99 million other Americans can identify with, according to a survey by the U.S. Travel Association. For the manager at the Joplin Regional Airport, it’s a potential concern.

“[Let’s say] You have an individual who never flies, or doesn’t fly a lot, and they have some kind of family emergency, and they run out here and buy a ticket, but they don’t have the proper ID, they’re not gonna be able to get on that airplane, and that’s gonna happen at any Missouri airport,or any commercial airport that they’re gonna see across the United States,” explained Steve Stockham.

You can think of a Real ID as an upgraded driver’s license. To get one, you’ll need proof of your identity, which varies from state to state, but you can check requirements with your local DMV. The important thing is to not wait until the last minute.

“If you’re gonna fly, if you’re gonna go into any kind of federal building or federal facility, you’re going to need a Real ID and you might as well go ahead and do it,” advised Stockham.

The Real ID act was passed by Congress in 2005 to increase security; Stefan just hopes the hassle is worth it.

“I’m all for extra security, but it just seems like another hoop to jump through.”

Oklahoma has an extension for Real ID enforcement through September 18, 2020.

Federally, all states must be Real ID-compliant for commercial flying or entering federal facilities by October 1, 2020.

Learn more.


Get the latest local and national headlines straight to your email for free: Sign up here.