Real ID vs. Passports: Which Do You Need and Why?

Real ID vs. Passports: Which Do You Need and Why?

When you travel, you need to be aware of upcoming changes, especially for domestic flights. One such change is the need for a Real ID to board a plane for all domestic flights. A Real ID is a state-issued driver’s license or ID with enhanced security features.

To obtain a Real ID driver’s license or ID card, one must appear in person at one’s local DMV and bring the appropriate documentation. Each state has its own requirements as far as what documentation is required. In some cases, you could be required to bring in four or more different types of documents.

Why Do You Need a Real ID?

In 2005, Congress passed what is called The Real ID Act. This Act was created in response to the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation on improving security on various types of IDs with new security standards. Without these security standards, you cannot use your current driver’s license or ID to board an airplane for domestic travel.

What Is the Real ID Deadline?

The Real ID deadline was originally October 1st, 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government extended the deadline until October 1st, 2021 to give people time to get a Real ID from their state’s DMV.

What Is a Passport?

A passport is an official form of identification that can be used for domestic and international travel. If you have a passport, you do not need a Real ID, as you can use your passport to board an airplane.

In recent years, people have been given the choice between the passport book and the passport card. It is important to note that the passport card is only valid for travel by land or sea between the U.S. and Mexico, Canada, and various countries in the Bahamas and Caribbean.

You cannot use the passport card to fly internationally. However, the TSA and airlines will accept a passport card as valid proof of identification for domestic flights in place of a Real ID.

Why Do You Need a Passport?

Why Do You Need a Passport?You need a passport if you want to travel internationally either by land, sea, or air. Having a passport also makes traveling domestically easier when flying. You don’t have to worry whether your state-issued driver’s license or ID card is a Real ID.

Why Is a Passport Better than a Real ID?

In comparing the features between a Real ID vs. a passport, a passport is a better choice because:

  • A passport is valid for 10 years.
  • You can renew a passport by mail and do not have to visit your DMV.
  • You don’t have to worry about getting a Real ID now and can wait until you are required to appear in person at your DMV to renew your driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
  • You can travel internationally by land, sea, or air, which you cannot with a Real ID.
  • A Real ID is only valid for domestic air travel within the United States.

What if My Passport Has Expired?

If your passport has expired, and you were at least 16 years or older, and you meet certain other requirements, you may be able to renew your passport online using our passport renewal service. We provide you with the right application form, a prepaid and pre-addressed USPS mailer, and a checklist of what you need to include with your application—like your existing passport, passport photos, and renewal fee amount.

Why deal with going to the DMV to get a Real ID when you can renew your passport online safely from home? Get started now at FastFilings or contact us by filling out our online contact form if you have further questions today!

Leave a Reply