Is it true I’ll need a Passport to fly WITHIN the U.S.?

Maybe. It depends on your state and whether the driver’s license you’re issued is in compliance with the REAL ID Act, which since 2005 has been a federal standard for photo identification.


Beginning on January 22, 2018, domestic air travelers from states that are not compliant and have NOT been granted an extension will need to show an ‘alternate form of acceptable identification“, of which one is a Passport (book or card).

Beginning on October 1, 2020, ALL domestic air travelers will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or one of the aforementioned acceptable methods of identification.

Remember that if you leave the U.S., you’ll still need a Passport to return – that won’t be effected by the REAL ID Act.

Additional Resources:

Here’s a great explanation of the REAL ID Act

And from Homeland Security, some FAQs about REAL ID and travel:

Here’s where you can check to see if your state issued driver’s license is compliant with REAL ID:

About Trisha Miller 46 Articles
Trisha is the Editor-in-Chief at Travel Writers Exchange, a community for travel writers & bloggers. She's also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a former member of the IFWTWA, serving on their Board of Directors from 2009 through 2015. When not traveling the world, Trisha occasionally guest-blogs for a number of websites, writing mainly about travel and technology, sometimes both at the same time.