U.S. airports will soon turn away anyone without an upgraded Real ID

In less than a year, a major security change is coming to American airports that will disallow any would-be passengers from boarding their flights.

The change is part of a 2005 federal law requiring a more secure form of identification from all passengers.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, every U.S. air traveler will be required to present an ID that complies with the Real ID Act.

States have been gradually rolling out Real IDs for years, since the passage of the law. But thus far it has not been federally mandated for all states, which changes less than a year from now.

The law establishes a new set of minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards, which are based on a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission in 2004.

Beginning next October, travelers cannot board any domestic flight without an upgraded Real ID card — denoted by a star in the upper right corner, UPI reported.

“This is an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security as we urge travelers to ensure they have compliant documents,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said this month. “DHS is committed to states as they continue their efforts to issue Real IDs to Americans.”

Passengers will also be able to present other acceptable forms of ID including a valid passport, passport card, U.S. military identification, or Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler card.

As of Oct. 1, 47 states were compliant with Real ID requirements, but only about a quarter of all Americans have a Real ID.

In addition, a recent study by the U.S. Travel Association found that 39 percent — about 100 million people — said they do not have any acceptable form of identification that will allow them to fly next October.

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