What is a REAL ID?
After the terrorist attack on 9/11, the government identified a major issue with DMVs across the country. They were not collecting adequate identity information when issuing photo IDs and driver licenses. A set of reforms was put into place including REAL ID. REAL ID requires you to present additional identity information to secure your government photo ID.
Why should your clients get one?
Beginning in October 2020, a REAL ID will be required to access Federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, and, board federally regulated commercial aircraft.
How do you get one?
Your local DMV should be able to issue one. Be sure to specify that you want a REAL ID .
Do you need a separate REAL ID if I have an Enhanced Driver’s License or Passport?
People who live in border states may have the option to get an Enhanced Driver’s License. This allows passage between the US and Mexico and Canada by land. This counts as a REAL ID.
A passport is a REAL ID.
I personally got a REAL ID driver’s license in addition to my passport so I don’t have to take my passport on flights within the United States.
Can I use only a REAL ID to board a cruise?
No. The REAL ID is not sufficient to board a cruise
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative allows US citizens who are sailing on a round trip cruise that begins and ends in the same port to use their birth certificate and government-issued photo ID to board a cruise instead of the usually required passport. The birth certificate is required to prove you are a US Citizen. The photo ID is required to prove that you are the person listed on the birth certificate. The Real ID does not prove citizenship as non-US citizens can obtain a REAL ID. That’s why it’s still necessary to bring your birth certificate.