Airport security checkpoint

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a reminder for all travelers that REAL ID requirement and enforcement will begin October 1, 2020.

By this time next year, airline passengers will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, a valid passport or U.S. military ID to go through airport security and board a plane within the country.

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Travelers who do not present an acceptable form of identification will not be permitted to enter the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints.

DHS officials revealed that all 50 states and six territories are now REAL ID compliant.

“This is an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security and we urge travelers to ensure they have compliant documents,” DHS Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said in a statement. “DHS is committed to working with states as they continue their efforts to issue REAL IDs to Americans.”

The DHS has been working since April to increase public attention on the upcoming deadline by displaying signs at airports, verbally advising travelers and co-hosting REAL ID events around the country.

Despite the efforts, a survey commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association revealed that 72 percent of Americans either do not have a REAL ID license or are unsure if they do. The study also found that 57 percent of respondents did not know about the October 2020 deadline.

While DHS officials have made strides informing the traveling public, there is still work left to accomplish.

Travel agents, if they haven’t already, should begin discussions with their clients to ensure they are prepared for the new rules in 2020.