What type of identifcation do you use when you fly within the United States? I use my passport. The REAL ID Act goes into effect on January 1, 2016. This going to implement a regulation that requires specific identification for flying within the USA. A military or governmental ID, a passport, a passport card, an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or a DHS trusted traveler card will be required. Samples of DHS Cards are NEXUS or Global Entry.
REAL ID ACT – What States Are Affected?
You are going to hear more about this in the coming months. Now is a good time to start considering what your options are. If you live in New York, New Hampshire, Louisiana, Minnesota and American Samoa you will be affected.Residents of those states need to pay attention to the REAL ID Act. These states do not require residents to show proof of citizenship or residency in order to obtain a license. So their license will be deemed non compliant at some point. No need to panic, as the government will be extending the deadline to allow for people to be prepared. It is only a mere 31 million Americans affected by this. That’s all.
REAL ID Act – What is the Cost?
If you live in the states mentioned above you need to consider another identification option if you plan to travel by air within the USA. At some point your state issued driver’s license will not work. Here are some options.
- If you are a member of the military you can use your Military ID to board any flight within the USA.
- In New York of Minnesota you can get the EDL (Enhanced Driver’s License) for approximately $30.00. You can get this at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.You can travel by land or by sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda without a passport.
- The Passport Card is the next least expensive option. The cost is $55.00. You can travel by land or by sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda without a passport.
- DHS (Department of Homeland Security) Cards are another option. The cost varies between $85.00 and $122.25. There are different types of DHS Cards, and that is what affects the price. These are meant to make the traveling experience easier. If you can get one of these cards you will always clear security faster. This type of identification requires approval, and is not guaranteed
- The most expensive option is the Passport. This will cost you $135.00 for a new passport. You will always need a passport if you are flying outside of the USA. If you already have a passport, just use that for your USA travel.