New law impacts travel

Are you 'REAL ID' ready?

by Lacy Saye

UPDATED 2/10/24

*Homeland Security extended the Real ID requirement through May 7, 2025. Learn more here.

Eliminate potential delays on your next class trip with one easy move: ensure that your travelers comply with upcoming changes to federal law for air travel identification. Read on to learn more about Real ID.

What is REAL ID?

The REAL ID ACT was passed by Congress in 2005 on recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Why is this important?

Travelers 18 years or older, who do not present a REAL ID-compliant license or an alternative acceptable form of ID, will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.

Save the date.

Starting May 7, 2025, every air traveler 18 years of age or older will be required to travel with a REAL ID compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license or other acceptable forms of ID.

Check for the star.

How do you know if your driver’s license is compliant? REAL ID licenses have a star at the top of the ID. You may already have a REAL ID-compliant license and not know it. Most states are issuing REAL ID licenses, as of September 5th, 2019 (as reported by Homeland Security), and all 50 states are or on track to being REAL ID compliant. Click this link to check your states status.

If you’re unsure if your license is REAL ID ready, contact your state driver’s license agency.

On tour with REAL ID

REAL ID goes into effect May 7, 2025, but the time to begin the discussion is now! Share information about REAL ID with Chaperones and parents and ask them if they are REAL ID ready. Discuss REAL ID at trip information meetings and utilize the Announcement feature in MyTour Portal to bring awareness.

The TSA has provided helpful tools to print or share electronically:

Next year’s Washington, DC or New York City class trip may seem far away, but travelers will need time to secure the proper identification. Start the discussion now to ensure there are no REAL ID hiccups on your East coast tour.

MyTour Fund is a free fundraising website available to all STA traveling educators and students.

Crowdsourced funding Inforgraphic for MyTour Fund
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