The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 21, 2020 1:00 am

REAL ID looming for US travelers

Sediqa Nedam

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, enacting the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.”

The REAL ID 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.

Beginning Oct. 1, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. Passengers who are not prepared by the deadline will not be allowed to pass through TSA checkpoints.

A REAL ID driver's license is generally marked with a star in the upper-right corner. IDs that are considered acceptable are a REAL ID driver's license or other REAL ID-compliant state photo identity card issued by a Department of Motor Vehicles, and U.S. passports. Other approved IDs can be found here at

To obtain a REAL ID, Hoosiers must visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and provide the following: proof of identity, proof of lawful status, proof of Social Security (a full Social Security number must be displayed on the document for it to be accepted), and two documents proving Indiana residency, such as a mortgage statement, utility bill or credit card bill. Individuals must be a legal resident of Indiana to obtain a REAL ID. A full list of acceptable documents can be found on

According to the TSA, only 27% of Americans have been issued a REAL ID-compliant license. A recent study has revealed that only 43% of Americans are aware of the deadline, concluding that 85,000 travelers could be denied access to their flights on the first day of implementation. As of Jan. 1, 58.4% of Indiana residents with a driver's license and/or ID (3,065,195 people) have been issued a REAL ID, while 41.6% (2,179,692 Indiana residents with a driver's license and/or ID) do not have a REAL ID. The total number of credentials issued in Indiana is 5,244,887.

There is no appointment necessary to receive your REAL ID license, but you can schedule one at The BMV estimates customer-to-customer wait time to be about 10 to 15 minutes in one of their branches. After renewing or being issued your new REAL ID-compliant license, the license should arrive within 14 calendar days but could take up to 30 days. The renewal cost for your license is $17.50, and you can renew your license within 24 months of your renewal/expiration date. If you are just getting a REAL ID-compliant license, then it's a $9 fee. The expiration date on your current ID will stay the same, but the issue date will change once you convert to a REAL ID.

If you have any more questions or concerns regarding the REAL ID-compliant licenses, call your local Indiana BMV or customer contact center – (888) 692-6841. Fort Wayne International Airport and Indiana BMVs highly encourage Hoosiers to upgrade their driver's licenses to REAL ID-compliant licenses.

Sediqa Nedam is a marketing specialist for the Fort Wayne International Airport Authority.

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