The Real ID Act of 2005 is an Act of Congress that modifies U.S. federal law pertaining to security, authentication, and issuance procedure standards for drivers’ licenses and identity documents, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism. The Real ID Act implements the following:
- Title II of the act establishes new federal standards for state-issued drivers’ licenses and non-driver identification cards.
- Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australian citizens.
- Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security.
- Introducing rules covering “delivery bonds” (similar to bail, but for aliens who have been released pending hearings).
- Updating and tightening laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorism.
- Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders.
The original deadline to comply with REAL ID was October 1, 2020 and has now been extended to October 1, 2021. Now, beginning October 1, 2021, domestic air travelers in the US must show identification that complies with document security requirements of the REAL ID Act. At that time, a traveler must present:
- The state-issued driver’s license or identification card that meets REAL ID requirements; OR
- An acceptable alternative form of identification. The following documents, among others, are approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):
- An unexpired U.S. or foreign passport;
- A DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST);
- A USCIS employment authorization document (EAD); or
- A DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license (EDL).
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