The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced this week it will allow states to accept documents for Real ID applications electronically, increasing the likelihood that millions of Americans can obtain new driver’s licenses and ID cards they will need in order to pass through airport security this fall.
Beginning Oct. 1, only driver’s licenses and state IDs that are Real ID-compliant will be accepted for boarding domestic flights. Travelers who don’t have a Real ID will need to carry a passport, military ID or a Global Entry card to clear security.
The process for obtaining a Real ID still involves an in-person visit to a DMV office, but now applicants can submit the required documentation online and shorten their wait time. Applicants need to submit proof of identity; two proofs of current residency, such as a utility bill or bank statement; proof of Social Security number; and proof of lawful residency, such as a passport or birth certificate.
While about 100 million Americans have been issued a Real ID, two-thirds of Americans holding a driver’s license have yet to get their Real ID.
“While progress has been made, the real work is still ahead because approximately two-thirds of all licenses are presently not compliant with Real ID,” said DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf. “Rest assured, our department will continue to examine other viable options to improve upon this process and continues doing everything it can to inform Americans on the requirement to obtain a Real ID before the full enforcement deadline later this year.”