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.


Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has once again extended the REAL ID full enforcement date to May 7, 2025, due to lingering circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning on January 22, 2018 MAY 7, 2025, ALL domestic air travelers will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license. 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), if they DO NOT HAVE a “RealID” compliant driver’s license.

Remember that if you leave the U.S., you’ll still need a Passport BOOK to return – that won’t be effected by the REAL ID Act and the Passport CARD is only good for WITHIN the United States and land border crossings between the U.S. and Canada and the U.S. and Mexico – the Card will not work for international airline travel.
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About Trisha Miller - Editor-in-Chief 59 Articles
Trisha is also 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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