BLOG: The Real ID Act and Your Travel Program

The Real ID Act is an Act passed by Congress that all corporate travel managers should be familiar with, as it will affect all travelers needing to board federally regulated commercial aircraft starting on October 1, 2020.


According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website, “The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.”


Furthermore, the website states, “Starting October 1, 2020, every state and territory resident will need to present a REAL ID compliant license/ID, or another acceptable form of identification, for accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding commercial aircraft. This is what we call “card-based” enforcement. The card, itself, must be REAL ID compliant unless the resident is using an alternative acceptable document such as a passport.”


Even though we are still about two years away from October 1, 2020, travel managers should begin thinking about how they will communicate this identification requirement to their travelers. Also, for companies with travelers in states that have been granted extensions, they should be aware of how long those extensions have been granted, and how identification requirements for traveling aboard commercial aircraft could change if their state does not continue to pass mandatory stages on the path towards full compliance.


For more information, visit the DHS website here or contact Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited.