Starting Oct. 1, 2020, the Transportation Security Administration will enforce new requirements for IDs to fly and get through airport security. It's part of the REAL ID Act passed in 2005.

TSA: Travelers must have ‘Real ID’ to fly starting October 2020

The Transportation Security Administration is warning travelers they will need “Real ID”-compliant identification to get through airport security checkpoints starting in one year.

The new requirement will take effect Oct. 1, 2020. Those who use a driver’s license as an ID will need one that fulfills the “Real ID” requirement, indicated by a star in the top right corner.

Another option is to use a passport as ID at the TSA checkpoint.

The majority of Georgia drivers already have updated “Real ID” licenses and don’t need to take any action. Georgia has been issuing Real ID-compliant licenses, which it calls Secure IDs, since July 2012. Other states are further behind.

However, out of 8 million Georgia license holders, about 300,000 do not have ones that fulfill the Real ID requirement with the star in the corner.

Many of the 300,000 with older licenses will have expiration dates that require them to get new licenses before the October 2020 deadline.

However, about 23,000 other people have IDs that will still be valid licenses but will not be compliant with the new TSA requirements to fly as of October 2020.

Double check -- make sure you’ve got that gold or black star on your license,” said TSA spokesman Mark Howell. If not, “take care of it sooner rather than later.”

Those who need updated licenses and who wait until next summer or fall could end up stuck in long lines if there’s a rush to comply, he said.

The 23,000 with older IDs includes those who got 10-year licenses before July 2012, and some veterans who back in 2005 got driver licenses valid until age 65.

The state is mailing notices to people who need to get new Real ID compliant licenses. TSA officers checking IDs may also advise passengers if they need to get a Real ID by the deadline.

TSA has a process for those who forgot their ID, saying if a traveler provides additional information, there may be other ways to confirm your identity such as using public databases.

If your identity is confirmed, you’ll be subject to additional screening including a pat-down. However, TSA says if your identity can’t be verified, or if you choose not to provide proper ID or don’t cooperate with the identity verification process, you will not be allowed through security.

While Georgia licenses issued since July 2012 are Real ID compliant to fly, the state this year began issuing licenses with even more security features.

The new licenses have black-and-white photographs and are made of polycarbonate, which is more tamper-resistant and durable.

“Roughly every 10 years, counterfeiters get better,” said Georgia Department of Driver Services commissioner Spencer Moore.

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.
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