(WCMH) — Whether you like it, hate it, or are indifferent to the idea, REAL ID is about a year away. This means every air traveler 18 or older will need a REAL ID-compliant drivers license, passport or other acceptable form of ID in order to fly in the United States beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Homeland Security foreshadowed what will happen when the deadline arrives and the new ID is mandatory.

“The thing that worries me are the people who fly infrequently who will show up at an airport thinking they’re going to go visit the grandkids and realizing that their license doesn’t work without that star in the corner,” said Kevin Burke, President, and CEO, Airports Council International-North America.

The requirement also applies for gaining entry into federal buildings.

Check your ID for the star

Real ID-compliant cards are typically marked with a start in the upper portion of the card, the TSA says.

According to the Homeland Security 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.

How do I get the REAL ID in Ohio?

You will need to prove who you are. According to the BMV, obtaining a REAL ID compliant card requires more identity documents than the standard card. You’ll need to bring documents that prove your:

  • legal name
  • date of birth
  • proof of U.S. legal presence,
  • social security number
  • Proof of Ohio residency
  • legal name change (if applicable)

Click Here to learn what type of documents you will need to bring with you to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles when updating your driver’s license.


“Relying on Real ID compliant documents ensures that the person presenting the Real ID went through a secure identity verification and issuance process and therefore that the vetting TSA conducts on the traveler is based on that established identity,” said Patricia Cogswell, Acting Deputy Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. “Real ID is specifically designed to inhibit the ability of a criminal or terrorist to evade detection using fraudulent identification.”

Congress established the REAL ID Act in 2005 for minimum security standards accepted by federal agencies for people to gain entry to federal facilities, commercial aircraft, and nuclear power plants. The final enforcement deadline is October 1, 2020.

“The reason we’re here to talk to you today, states are reporting that only 27 percent of all driver’s license holders have been issued Real IDs to date,” Cogswell emphasized. “We need to increase awareness of this critically important upcoming deadline.”

If you do not have the most up to date driver’s license, relax — it is okay. You have 12 months to get it renewed or updated. Homeland Security has a page of Frequently Asked Questions to help you. Should your question not be listed, scroll to the bottom of the page and you can click on “Additional Questions?” There, an email address will appear and you may submit your inquiry.