A significant little icon on the identification document (ID) will soon be a major factor in determining whether or not you can board domestic flights, among other situations.
Do you already have the so-called Real ID? How do I know that I already have one? The authorities advise having it as soon as possible.
Beginning May 3, 2023, anyone over the age of 18 will be required to present a Real ID to travel within the United States or visit a federal facility.
All US resident travelers will require either a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, or a US passport or passport card.
Designated by a star and a gold circle around it in the upper right corner of a Florida driver’s license or state ID, Real IDs are issued with stricter security standards than a simple driver’s license in order to combat terrorism and reduce identity fraud.
Those without a Real ID will not be able to renew or replace their current credentials through the MyDMV portal, the easiest way to renew or replace a Florida driver license or ID card. Nor does it renovate or replace the motor vehicle, boat or mobile home.
The authorities warn that a Real ID cannot be acquired online for the first time, it must be processed in person, with the necessary documents, through the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) offices. Nor do you have two Real IDs: If you have a driver’s license, you waive the identity document.
In what situations is it necessary to have a Real ID?
These are the circumstances in which Real ID is required, according to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
▪ Travel with an airline nationwide.
▪ Access certain federal facilities, such as Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints.
▪ Board federally regulated commercial aircraft.
▪ Enter nuclear power plants.
There are other situations where you do not need to have a Real ID:
▪ If you have a valid US passport or passport card.
▪ If you do not use planes as a means of national transport.
▪ If you don’t visit military bases.
▪ If you don’t visit secure federal facilities.
What immigrants and US citizens need and are eligible for a Real ID?
In addition to those who are going to travel on domestic flights without a passport:
▪ Any Floridian who can prove legal presence in the US with an accepted identity document is eligible to apply for this card, officials say.
▪ It is recommended that all immigrants, especially those who are going to start their immigration process, have their Real ID as soon as possible if they want to travel and have permission to enter the buildings of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
▪ DACA and Temporary Protected Status recipients are also eligible to apply if their documents are current.
▪ Those who want to obtain a Real ID while renewing their driver’s license can do so, but must first complete a Real ID application at a FLHSMV office.
Everyone must provide documents that prove their identity, their Social Security number, a written signature, and two documents that show proof of residency.
Documents accepted to obtain a Real ID
Depending on the status of each person —US Citizen, Immigrant, Non-immigrant and Canadian—, some documents or others are provided.
These are the main documents you can provide to prove your identity:
▪ Birth certificate.
▪ US passport.
▪ Foreign passport with US visa affixed with the approved Form I-94 document.
▪ Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
▪ Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization.
▪ Employment Authorization Document.
▪ Permanent residence card.
If you are an immigrant, to prove your Social Security number you must present the original of one of the following documents:
▪ Social security card.
▪ Form W-2, not handwritten.
▪ Proof of payroll payment.
▪ Form SSA-1099.
▪ Any Form SSA-1099 that is not handwritten.
To prove residency in Florida, you must have two of these documents:
▪ Bills for household services, including cell phone.
▪ Medical documents.
▪ Car or boat registration.
▪ Employment documents.
▪ Insurance documents.
▪ Records of banking and financial entities.
▪ Confirmation of change of address by the US Postal Service.
▪ Mortgage bill.
▪ Rental or lease agreement, signed by owner and tenant.
▪ Florida IRS or FTB tax return.
Is the passport the only option to travel on domestic flights without a Real ID?
Travelers who do not present a Real ID or a passport will not have access to security checkpoints at airports, but the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accepts various identity documents.
▪ DHS Trusted Traveler Cards such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST,
▪ US Department of Defense identification.
▪ Permanent residence card.
▪ Border crossing card.
▪ An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe.
▪ PIV HSPD-12 card.
▪ Passport issued by a foreign government.
▪ Transportation worker identification card.
▪ US Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
▪ US Merchant Marine Credential.
▪ Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC).
This story was originally published on October 15, 2022 11:18 a.m.