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Travelers will need a REAL ID driver’s license to board planes starting next October

Starting October 1, 2020, travelers will been a more secure driver’s license to board a plane or visit a secure government facility or military base. The ...
Front view of a Landing airplane.

Starting October 1, 2020, travelers will been a more secure driver’s license to board a plane or visit a secure government facility or military base.

The licenses, called REAL ID, have a small star in the upper right to indicate it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards. According to the Department of Homeland Security, “The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government ‘set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.’” Connecticut has been issuing REAL ID licenses since October 2011.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO GET IT?

This process generally will involve residents bringing in original proof of identity documents.

  • Proof means: an original birth certificate and other primary documents, original Social Security card and original papers showing permanent residency in the U.S.
  • Also, if a name is different than as shown on a birth certificate, the person must also show proof of the name change: original marriage licenses, divorce decrees, legal documents name changes by court orders, adoption papers, etc. Certified copies will also be accepted.
  • Everyone wanting the identity verification will also need to show their address on two items of proof.
WHAT ARE REQUIREMENTS FOR NON-U.S. CITIZENS?
Non-U.S. citizens also will need to show a permanent resident card or other legal presence documents proving permanent residency.
CAN I USE MY U.S. PASSPORT AT THE AIRPORT INSTEAD OF HAVING THIS ADDITIONAL IDENTITY CHECK DONE?
Yes. A valid U.S. passport can also be used because existing federal standards are built into them. See additional documents, other than a license, ID card or passport, TSA will accept at the airport.
For more information, visit Connecticut’s FAQ page about REAL ID. Or call 860-263-5700 within the Hartford area or 800-840-8222 elsewhere in Connecticut.