The importance of REAL ID compliance in event communication

By Adam Tillotson | Director, Regional Sales

The importance of REAL ID compliance in event communication

When congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005, they set in motion some sweeping changes to what official U.S. identification will look like. Unfortunately for many of us, it doesn’t look like what’s currently in your wallet.

While some states have been more proactive with implementing the new requirements since announced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in late 2013, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, each state will have a little more time as the Trump administration has pushed back the current October 2020 deadline 12 months (1). Beginning on October 1, 2021, you will need a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID card to access federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and more importantly, federally regulated commercial aircraft (2)

Below are examples of a compliant vs. non-compliant license from the California DMV (3)

REAL ID Driver License – with bear and star marking

Federal Non-Compliant Driver License – with “Federal Limits Apply” marking

Why is this important to planners?

Often, the meetings and events that planners are organizing require inter-state travel, and often air travel. To get through TSA screening (basically, any commercial airport in the US), your delegates will need a REAL ID compliant identification card or driver’s license. While they may use a passport in lieu of these documents, many infrequent travelers may not possess a passport or haven’t updated their licenses to a REAL ID compliant card, as under the REAL ID act (4), states may allow up to 8 years in between license or ID renewals.

What do I do?

It is recommended that when communicating about your meetings/events/programs, to include communication to your delegates about the REAL ID requirements for travel. As it often takes weeks to obtain a new license or a passport, letting your delegates know in advance will help prevent air travel issues.

You may also find more information on the DHS website – as well as these helpful documents from the TSA when communicating to your delegates.

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