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.


Updated 08/10/2020 to reflect the current (extended) dates
Updated again 05/24/21to reflect the current (extended) dates

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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 May 3, 2023, 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.

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About Trisha Miller 54 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 visiting the many all-inclusive resorts she loves, Trisha spends her time writing, mainly about travel and technology, sometimes both at the same time.
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