17:00 PM

AAA: Don't Be Left Grounded Without a REAL ID

Adult Travelers will need a REAL ID or Passport for Domestic Flights by October 1, 2020

DEARBORN, Mich., (October 9, 2019) — As consumers make travel plans for 2020, AAA is reminding them about another consideration: as of Oct. 1, 2020, they will likely need to present a different form of identification to board a domestic flight. Beginning in October 2020, the accepted forms of identification for boarding domestic flights or for entering most federal facilities will be a current passport, passport card, military ID, or REAL ID-compliant state driver's license. The standard Michigan driver's license is not REAL ID-compliant and cannot be used to board a commercial flight as of October 2020.

The Michigan Secretary of State is offering residents the option of either continuing to renew their standard driver's license/ID card OR obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identity card. There's no additional fee to turn a license or state ID card into a standard REAL ID if it's done during your normal renewal time; otherwise a duplicate card fee will be charged.

Becoming REAL ID compliant in Michigan is not complicated. To turn your license or ID card into a REAL ID, simply visit a Secretary of State branch office or make an appointment at Michigan.gov/SOS. You will need to bring the following required documents to prove your identity:

  1. Driver's license or state ID card
  2. One of the following original documents (photocopies or faxes will not be accepted):
    • Certified birth certificate with raised seal or stamp issues by a governmental agency
    • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport.
    • Approved citizenship or legal presence document.
  3. If your name differs from what's on your birth certificate, bring certified documents for every time your name changed, such as marriage licenses or court orders.

REAL ID-compliant identification is marked by a star on the top of the card. Travelers who are not sure if their ID is compliant should look for a star on their ID or check with the Michigan Secretary of State. This new requirement stems from the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, which was passed as a Department of Homeland Security measure. It established new standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards to improve security by making them more tamper-proof.

"AAA is urging travelers to prepare for this upcoming change," said Adrienne Woodland, spokesperson, AAA-The Auto Club Group. "As the October 2020 deadline draws nearer, it may become more difficult for consumers to obtain their REAL ID, passport, or passport card in a timely manner."

According to the Michigan Secretary of State, as of June 2019, only 37 percent of Michigan licenses and ID cards were REAL ID-compliant, which could mean a last-minute rush at Secretary of State offices when the October 1, 2020 deadline approaches.

Also, according to the Department of Homeland Security, Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDL) issued by the states of Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Vermont are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will also be accepted for official REAL ID purposes. Most EDLs do not contain the star marking, however this is acceptable.

REAL ID cards cannot be used for border crossing into Canada or Mexico or for international travel. For those who plan to travel internationally they will need a passport or passport card. Passport applications and renewal forms are available online and AAA branches offer passport photo services for both members and non-members. Additioanl information regarding REAL ID can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service in 2016 and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.