On March 26, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the REAL ID enforcement deadline has been extended to October 1, 2021. This will require all Americans to present REAL ID-compliant identification to go through security.

Survey findings show America is still not close to being REAL ID ready: A majority of Americans (39%) are unaware of the October 1, 2020 deadline. Furthermore, an estimated 153 million Americans (65%) either have a standard driver’s license or are unsure whether their ID is REAL ID-compliant, and an estimated 83 million Americans (34%) do not have any form of identification (e.g. passport, U.S. military ID, enhanced driver’s license) that would be accepted on October 1, 2021.

To help educate the traveling public, we will be providing new toolkit materials soon.

Messaging Best Practices

In order to ensure we are clear, concise and consistent, the following best practices are encouraged when you are communicating about REAL ID to the traveling public:

  • Use a common hashtag: #REALIDReady in social media copy
  • Use a common tagline: Without the star, you won't go far
  • Ensure that other acceptable forms of ID are communicated as alternates (see fact sheet for details)
  • Direct consumers to their state DMV for the latest information
  • Encourage all travelers to share information with their friends and family

Page last updated March 26, 2020

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