ASTA Reminds Travel Advisors: One Year Until REAL ID Deadline

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is reminding travel advisors that starting October 1, 2020, travelers who elect to use a state-issued driver's license at airport checkpoints must ensure that it is REAL ID-compliant (denoted with a star located in the upper portion of the card).

“There are clear signs that the traveling public is not prepared for this deadline, and that millions of travelers are at risk of being turned away at airport checkpoints one year from today,” a statement by ASTA says. “As an industry, our goal should be that no travel advisor client is prevented from boarding a plane due to a lack of familiarity with the REAL ID requirements.”

To help prevent disruption for travelers, ASTA has created a REAL ID toolkit for members, which includes a fact sheet, social media guide, sample disclaimer language and other resources.

A study commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association found that nearly three-quarters of Americans are unprepared for the deadline for full implementation of REAL ID and millions could be prevented from boarding a plane because they do not have the required identification, according to our sister publication Travel Agent. The study also found a significant REAL ID awareness issue, with 57 percent of Americans saying they did not know about the upcoming deadline.

According to the U.S Department of Homeland Security, by October 1, 2020, if a person wishes to fly on commercial aircrafts, he or she must have obtained a REAL ID-compliant card or an acceptable alternative, such as a U.S. passport. Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) issued by Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Vermont are also considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will be accepted for official REAL ID purposes. All states (as of September 5, 2019) are fully compliant with the REAL ID requirements.

Children under 18 years old traveling with a companion within the United States will not be required to provide identification.

Note: The REAL ID cannot be used for border crossings into Canada or Mexico, or any other international travel, including cruise travel.

To get a REAL ID, you must visit your state’s driver’s licensing agency and provide, at minimum: your full legal name, date of birth, social security number, two proofs of address of principal residence and lawful status.

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