(WSVN) - Starting May 7, 2025, travelers within the U.S. will face new requirements for boarding domestic flights and entering federal buildings as the enforcement of REAL IDs takes effect. This means that traditional driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or U.S. Border Patrol for these purposes.

Individuals aged 18 and over will need to present a form of identification that meets REAL ID standards, such as a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, an enhanced driver’s license, or a passport. The change aims to standardize the security features of state-issued IDs in compliance with federal regulations established following the 9/11 attacks.

REAL IDs are recognizable by a star marked in the top right corner, although some states like California may have slight variations in design. The requirement will apply across all 50 states, U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

For those looking to obtain a REAL ID, certain documents will be necessary:

  • Proof of Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or a tax document displaying the full number.
  • Two proofs of residency, which could include a utility bill or bank statement.
  • Proof of legal status, like a U.S. passport, birth certificate, or permanent resident card.
  • Proof of citizenship if the applicant is not a U.S. citizen.

Travelers are advised to plan ahead, as some DMVs require appointments to be made in advance for REAL ID applications. Failure to secure a REAL ID by the deadline will result in being denied entry at all TSA security checkpoints for domestic travel, though a passport will still be required for international travel.

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