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For anyone who does not travel often, the way that Americans attain a plane ticket will be seeing a significant shift in the coming years. Almost instantly, a few questions may come to mind. What exactly do these changes entail? How will they affect Americans’ ability to travel domestically? What should Americans do to become compliant? In order to accurately answer these questions, I dove deeper into the Real ID Act, so travelers know what to expect when the Act goes into effect in 2020.

What Is The Real ID Act?
The Real ID Act states that Americans who travel by plane will now need to have Real ID identification to get through the Transportation Security Administration’s security checkpoints, even if the person is traveling within the United States. Originally passed in 2005, the Act was created for a few reasons. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Congress decided to implement stricter ID rules to help reduce the amount of fake IDs that are made and used. In other words, they want to ensure that no one is able to create a fake identity, similar to what has been seen in the past. It also helps the Transportation Security Administration to keep track of any potential threats that are brought to their attention.

How Does One Become Compliant?
While the launch date for the new security measures has been pushed back until 2020, Americans should begin thinking about how to ensure that they are following the guidelines. Americans should begin by checking if their state is compliant with the Real ID Act, which means that their official licenses now comply with the new regulations.

Currently, 23 states have become compliant, while 27 states are still non-compliant. As of right now, the states that are non-compliant have been granted extensions after providing evidence that they are working towards the new federal requirements. States that are non-compliant have until 2020 to get the rest of the Act implemented into their state, while also providing compliant IDs to its residents. Americans who do not have a compliant ID card by the 2020 cutoff date will not be allowed to use their current license to get through security moving forward.

While there is still time for Americans and their states to become ID compliant, ensuring that you can obtain a compliant card will help make the transition smoother, while reducing the chance of future problems when traveling.