On January 22nd, 2018, the Real ID Act will come into effect, affecting domestic travel across the entire United States. The Act was passed by Congress in 2005 with the goal to make state-issued driver’s licenses more secure. Residents of states that have switched their state IDs or driver’s licenses over to Real IDs will be impacted.
The Real ID Act changes ID requirements for those attempting to travel on a domestic flight on their driver’s license or state ID. This ID law will also effect those using their IDs to visit a Federal facility or military base. Those who are residents of a state with the new IDs but have never changed over their current identification for an enhanced version, will need to show an alternative form of ID such as a passport. Without an accepted ID, they will have a problem passing through security. For some cases, TSA agents can attempt to confirm your identity through a public database. However, if they cannot verify your identity you won’t be able to board the plane.
It is common for people to use their driver’s licenses to fly or cruise domestically. Often times, some travelers don’t even own a passport. In terms of travel insurance, not having the correct type of ID to travel isn’t a standard covered reason for trip cancellation coverage. In order to be covered for a situation where you do not have the right kind of ID, you would need to purchase a Cancel For Any Reason upgrade, which would allow you to cancel for any reason at all. It is always important to purchase the right trip protection for unexpected situations. Even though you should ensure that all of your travel documents are up-to-date, mistakes can happen. Appropriate insurance can’t give you your vacation back, however, it can help to offset the loss of funds from missing the trip completely.
There are twenty-eight states and territories that are currently administering the enhanced IDs. The remaining states are under review for an extension or have already been granted one. These extensions will be up on October 1, 2020, when the Real ID Act will completely go into effect. Afterward, everyone must arrive with an enhanced ID, passport, or similar form of identification in order to board the plane.
It is important to ensure that your ID is current according to your state’s standards. However, no matter where you fly to, it is important to purchase travel protection to cover unexpected events either during your trip or before hand causing you to miss the trip completely.