In almost exactly one year — Oct. 1, 2020 — people boarding commercial airplanes will need to show TSA agents one of the new “Travel IDs” in order to pass through security. Those who show up at the airport with just their state-issued driver’s license will be out of luck, unable to get on their plane and to their planned destination.

The Travel ID requirement is in accordance with the REAL ID Act of 2005, which was enacted on the heels of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The law requires anyone traveling on commercial aircraft or entering a federal building or facility to present federally approved identification. Thus, the Travel ID — though passports will also continue to be an accepted form of identification and will still be required for international travel, regardless of whether a person has obtained a Travel ID. U.S. Military IDs are also an accepted form of identification for domestic travel and access to federal buildings.

Travel IDs look similar to the traditional state-issued driver’s license, though they have a gold star embedded in the upper right corner as a “credential that adds proof of identification to ensure the license or ID meets strict federal requirements,” according to the ADOT website. The new ID is available as both a driver’s license and an identification card.

Arizona is one of 37 states across the country that will allow its residents to decide between getting a Travel ID or continuing with the traditional state-issued driver’s license or ID. But remember, the Travel ID or passport will be needed for airline travel and access to federal properties, so the Arizona Department of Transportation is encouraging people to get to a Motor Vehicle Department building or licensed third-party provider for their Travel IDs, sooner rather than later.

The cost to apply for a Travel ID is $25, and the application must be completed online or printed out and completed prior to arriving at the Motor Vehicle Division. An appointment must be made at MVD, or the application can be turned in at a licensed third-party driver license office.

Because the ID is used to access secure buildings and airplanes, several forms of identification are required to obtain it.

• Birth Certificate or U.S. Passport (to establish legal presence)

• Social Security Card or W-2 form (to confirm Social Security information)

• Proof of Residency (two documents with current address, such as bank statements or utility bills)

“’Don’t get grounded’ is the message,” says Doug Nick, ADOT’s assistant communications director for customer outreach.

The Travel ID is valid for eight years in most cases, and will be delivered in the mail about two weeks after the application is successfully submitted.

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