New ID cards needed to board planes after Oct. 1, 2020

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Anyone wishing to fly commercially in the United States or enter certain federal facilities after Oct. 1, 2020, will need to get a new state-issued ID card.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security will start issuing REAL ID cards July 1 at all Driver Services Centers and participating County Clerk Offices. These REAL IDs are only needed for flying commercially, accessing federal buildings and entering nuclear power plants.

The REAL ID cards are not needed for driving, voting, purchasing alcohol or cigarettes, accessing hospitals, visiting the post office, applying for federal benefits or any other identification purposes.

REAL IDs are marked with a gold star in the upper corner of the card.

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The new ID cards were established when Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005.  The law established additional minimum security standards that aim to provide additional safety to Americans and protect their identities.

REAL IDs are needed by citizens of all 50 states who want to fly on domestic commercial airlines, access federal buildings or enter nuclear power plants after Oct. 1, 2020. The REAL IDs are not mandatory unless needed for those purposes.

If a person is in his or her renewal period by Oct. 1, 2020, the REAL ID card will cost the same as renewing a normal ID card. If a person is not within his or her renewal period by Oct. 1, 2020, there will be a duplicate fee charged for the REAL ID.

REAL IDs can be acquired by presenting three things at the Driver Service Center or County Clerk Office:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence
  • Proof of full Social Security Number
  • Two proofs of state residence

All documents presented must be original, as copies will not be accepted.

Passports are also still acceptable forms of ID for air travel.

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