08-24 Real ID

A sample Real ID-compliant Texas driver's license

Air travel will be a bit more difficult for Texans without a “Real ID” come 2020. Those without the updated license will not be allowed through Transportation Safety Authority checkpoints next year.

The new ID cards and driver's licenses are a product of the 2005 “Real ID Act,” which established minimum security standards for license issuance and production.

A product of the 9/11 commission, the law requires the new cards to access Federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, and, board federally regulated commercial aircraft.

Those without a Real ID compliant identification can still use a valid US passport to get through TSA security.

Real ID compliant cards can be distinguished by the gold circle with a star stamped in the upper right corner of Texas state ID's and licenses.

Although the federal government gave states until Oct. 1, 2020 to become compliant with the law, Texas has been issuing Real ID's since 2016; therefor, if you've renewed your license since then, you should have a Real ID.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has been contacting customers about renewing early so they can receive a Real ID before the deadline.

For those whose licenses are set to expire sometime after Oct. 2020, if they are within two years of their renewal, DPS will send a letter instructing how to renew ahead of time.

Approximately half a million Texans fall outside the two-year window. DPS officials said they are attempting to contact these customers with instructions on how to

request a duplicate ID or license, so they can also be REAL ID compliant.

For more information, call Texas Department of Public Safety at 903-661-5000.

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