Are you ready for domestic air travel changes in 2018?
Here in North Carolina, my son had to get his REAL ID this December so he can fly again come March when he comes home from college for spring break. With these changes taking place effective January 22 for so many, I thought we should talk about it!
I know a lot of people are not sure about these changes, what they mean, and how it applies to them, so I’m going to try and clear it up for you here. In the meantime, I’m off to the post office to send out several cruise packets for people escaping this cold, bitter weather to the sunny Caribbean!
What is it? After the 9/11 attacks, a law was passed which resulted in this new requirement. Now, you will need either a passport or a REAL ID to fly – even within the US. There are other components to what REAL ID is for, but for our purposes, we’ll simply discuss how it relates to travel.
Do I need it now? Not every state has it available yet. If your state is compliant, you will need it to fly anywhere beginning 1/22/18. Some states have an extension.
Should I get a passport or REAL ID? My suggestion is to get both, but if you do not plan to fly internationally or take a cruise, I’d go with REAL ID. If you plan to cruise, it’s not absolutely necessary to get your passport but I always suggest it in case of emergency. If you plan to fly internationally, you’ll need a passport anyway. I suggest both in case you fly somewhere domestically but forget to grab your passport.
My state is compliant. How do I get one? Every state has a different price, process, and requirements, so contact your Dept of Motor Vehicles to learn more about what you need to do.