NJ residents need REAL ID to board airplanes after 9/30/20

New Jersey residents who want to board a domestic flight will soon need a star on their driver’s license, indicating that it is a REAL ID credential or they will need another form of approved identification to board their flight or enter a secure federal facility.

New Jersey’s REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards have a small star in the upper right corner to indicate that it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.

The upgraded REAL IDs will be required starting October 1, 2020 and the countdown is on!

New Jersey residents have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID if their license does not currently have the star or stick with an older standard driver’s license.

However, a standard credential—without the star—will not be valid to board a domestic flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices.

To get the REAL ID-compliant license, individuals will need to visit their local New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission office in person by signing up for an appointment and bring certain documents to prove U.S. citizenship and New Jersey residency.

Required documents include one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of New Jersey residency, your social security card and a current driver’s license if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state.

New Jersey residents can sign up to be notified to make a REAL ID appointment. The Motor Vehicle Commission will email residents when REAL ID is available at a location near where they live, including a link to get an appointment.

Transportation Security Administration officers at ticket document checking station at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a REAL ID license or another form of acceptable ID after October 1, 2020, because of a 2005 federal law signed by President George Bush Jr.

REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

TSA has posted new signs at airports nationwide to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020.

Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly. TSA officers will be providing verbal advisements to passengers to remind them about REAL ID.

For more information and details about how to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card in New Jersey, visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s REAL ID web site.

TSA also has a one-minute video that provides information about flying with a REAL ID.


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