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Alert! May 3rd, 2023 You will Need an Enhanced or Real ID for Domestic Air Travel! Read this first!

May 2023 is fast approaching. Do you have a Federally compliant license yet?

You may be confused (like I was) about the push for Real or Enhanced IDs by May 2023. And are they the same thing? Here’s what I found out. Due to the Real ID Act of 2005 that was passed by Congress, an individual 18 or over must have a federally compliant ID to fly domestically and to enter Federal Buildings by May 3rd, 2023. The difference between Real IDs and Enhanced IDs is small, Enhanced IDs are virtually the same except “Enhanced,” has the American flag is shown on it. Enhanced IDs can be used to travel by land or water (not air) to Canada, whereas holders of Real IDs cannot. 

Enhanced IDs were established first in New York state in 2008 so individuals could travel to Canada without the need for a passport. The states of Washington, Vermont, Minnesota, and Michigan also offer enhanced driver’s licenses that are similarly Real ID (Federally) compliant.​

Is it necessary to get either Federally compliant Id?

While not mandatory, having a federally compliant ID is necessary for most individuals. Whether flying to visit family or friends in the US or if you need to enter a federal building in the future. Some individuals may already have federally compliant IDs. These are a US passport, global entry card, a US Department of Defense ID, federally recognized tribal-issued photo IDs, US Merchant Mariner credentials, or transportation worker Identification credentials. These specific IDs allow individuals to fly domestically as of this writing. However, please check with before you travel for any changes. 

Also, if planning to visit a federal agency, you should check with them in advance, to obtain information regarding identification requirements. But, if you drive and need to have a driver’s license anyway, it is best to get the Real ID license to avoid carrying around another form ID to be able to fly domestically or enter federal buildings when required.

What information do I need to show to get a Federally complaint ID?

Full Legal Name and birth date – need a certified copy of a birth certificate or valid passport or Social Security number – need to provide a social security card or current w-2 or 1099 form. Proof of Address – current driver’s license, a bill with name and address, a current paycheck with name and address listed. (nothing handwritten) ​ So now you know there are slight differences between the Real ID and the Enhanced ID. Although it may not be mandatory, if you fly domestically, it is important that you obtain one of the two ID’s above.  This will allow you to travel without having to carry additional ID with you when you travel.  We bring this information to you as our goal, as your favorite travel agency, is to reduce or eliminate your stress when you travel.

Have any questions or need assistance with designing your next travel experience? ​Contact AJ! at 440-965-6868 or by email at We Are Your Passport to the World!

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