Connecticut residents planning to take a domestic flight are going to have to “get real" within the next nine months if they hope to board their plane.
Beginning on Thursday, Oct. 1, a standard Connecticut driver’s license won’t be enough to get on even a domestic flight, and although that is months away, the DMV is encouraging residents to get ahead of the game. The upgraded, enhanced ID will feature a star in the upper-righthand corner.
The REAL ID will feature a star in the corner of the license. The REAL ID will also become the standard for entering federal facilities. The requirements came following recommendations by the 9/11 Commission.
The DMV has been encouraging area residents to start transitioning to the REAL ID, including the issuance of online promotion and mailing information. There have also been tables set up with information at prominent area airports in an effort to ensure residents have enough time to get the new ID.
According to a new study by the U.S. Travel Association, 57 percent of people said they were unaware of the October 2020 deadline for domestic air travel, with approximately 39 percent saying they currently have zero Real ID-compliant documents.
In order to obtain a REAL ID, one must go in person to the DMV with proof identity and proof of Connecticut residency. There is no additional fee. There is a $30 fee to get an enhanced license, which can be used in lieu of a passport to enter Canada, Mexico and some Carribean countries by land or sea.
TSA noted that residents can still utilize their passport to board flights.
"Anyone not wanting this verification can simply decline and renew their regular license or DMV-issued ID card. If someone declines, a valid U.S. passport can serve the same purpose as the verified license or ID card at federal screening checkpoints," officials said.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, they have been “working with states for years around REAL ID compliance and have provided technical assistance, grants, and other support to them. (They) are also providing more than two years advance notice of implementation with respect to domestic air travel to allow ample time for all states to achieve compliance, or for potential air travelers to acquire an alternate form of ID if their state does not comply with REAL ID.”
If a traveler cannot provide a REAL ID, they will not be permitted through the security checkpoint, TSA noted.
"Connecticut residents have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID if their license does not currently have the star or stick with an older standard driver’s license. However, a standard credential—without the star—will not be valid to board a flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices. The standard Connecticut driver’s license will have the words “Not for Federal Identification” printed at the top."
“REAL ID is available at all DMV offices statewide and we encourage you to get your new license or non-driver ID today, especially if you are renewing or applying for the first time,” a DMV spokesperson said in a statement. “Getting a new REAL ID requires an office visit, and we expect lines to grow as the deadline approaches. Don’t delay – get your REAL ID today.”
Complete details about the REAL ID from TSA can be found here .
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.