“By the Numbers” is a periodic look at data on the travel economy from sources outside of the U.S. Travel Association, examining how the numbers align with U.S. Travel’s own research and analysis. This iteration looks at the release of figures from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on America’s readiness for the full enforcement of REAL ID on October 1, 2020.

Key takeaway:
According to DHS, only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID. This figure comes from a reporting of REAL ID license issuance from DMVs in all states, territories and the District of Columbia.  

How this figure compares with U.S. Travel’s data:
A U.S. Travel-commissioned survey by Longwoods International, a market research consultancy, found that 72% of Americans are unlikely to have a REAL ID (i.e. they either said they don’t have one, they’re confused, or they think they have one but can’t say why).

Similarly, our survey found that 16% of Americans said they are certain they have a REAL ID because their license has a star and 14% said they’re certain because the DMV told them it was a REAL ID. If these figures are combined, it shows that 30% of Americans are reasonably certain they have a REAL ID-compliant license, which aligns with DHS’s reported figure.

Please click here to read the full survey results.