Air travelers face new ID requirements to board flights before the holidays in 2020

MILWAUKEE -- Important changes are taking place for air travelers across the country. They will face new identification requirements to board a flight next holiday season (in 2020).

As airports get busier with holiday travelers, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers remind people it is the last holiday season before these big changes go into effect.

"Every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a state-issued Real ID license or ID card or another acceptable form of ID," said Mark Lendvay of the Department of Homeland Security.

Enforcement of the Real ID starts Oct. 1, 2020. A driver's license or ID will no longer be acceptable identification for domestic air travel or to enter federal sites. TSA said it adds another layer of security.

"By further preventing or deterring terrorists' ability to evade detection -- by using a fraudulent identification card," Lendvay said.

Wisconsin Real IDs are marked with a black or gold star in the upper right-hand corner. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) officials say it is a lot more convenient than carrying several forms of identification.


"Wisconsin residents can continue to chose to have a noncompliant card. But they will need another form of identification -- like a passport -- to board a plane or access federal sites," said Kristina Boardman of the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles.

Thirty-eight percent of Wisconsin residents already have the Real ID card. But TSA officials hope the numbers will be higher -- urging people to get a Real ID during the winter months.

"If you delay, you may end up being caught up in the mad crush to get a Real ID here in Wisconsin," Lendvay said.

The most common other forms of identification that will be accepted are a passport and U.S. military ID. For a complete list of approved documentation, CLICK HERE.