In 2025, new travel identification rules will go into effect to increase aviation security. Our guide below will help answer all your questions about REAL ID, and how to make sure it doesn’t impact your locum tenens travel.
What is a REAL ID?
REAL ID is a law passed by Congress that is meant to increase aviation security for travel within the United States. The law states that every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, like a valid passport or U.S. military ID, to fly within the United States. You can view a list of acceptable forms of identification on the TSA website.
When does REAL ID go into effect?
Beginning May 7, 2025, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the U.S., it must be REAL ID compliant in order to board the aircraft.
How do I tell whether my ID card is REAL ID compliant?
REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you’re not sure whether your card is compliant, you can contact your state driver’s license agency.
Several states such as Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable REAL ID-compliant forms of identification. State-issued enhanced driver’s licenses are marked with a flag.
If I have a passport, do I also need a REAL ID compliant ID card?
No. Your passport is considered REAL ID-compliant, so if you are planning on traveling with your passport, you will not need an additional REAL ID identification card. That said, it never hurts to have both, in case you forget your passport at home!
Do REAL ID requirements apply to CLEAR and TSA PreCheck?
Yes. Even if you have TSA PreCheck or CLEAR, you’ll still need a REAL ID or other acceptable form of ID starting May 7, 2025.