Effective March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of State will only process passport applications for citizens traveling internationally within 72 hours.
Q: Do I need a Real ID or another federally-approved ID before October 1, 2020?
A: YES, as of October, driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable identification to access federal buildings, military installations, or TSA checkpoints for domestic travel (within the United States).
Alaska residents, 18 and older, will need a state-issued Real ID driver’s license or identification card OR an approved federal ID to enter federal buildings, access military installations, and board commercial flights. Standard driver’s licenses or State-issued ID cards will no longer be accepted.
- U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card, aka “green card”
- Border crossing card
- DHS-designated Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Enhanced non-driver photo ID card (ENDID)
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- S. Merchant Mariner Credential
NOTE: Drivers and passengers, ages 16-18, may not need ID at airports, but they must carry a federally-approved ID to get through military gates.
Passport or Real ID Card? One or the other, but no need for either if you carry other acceptable federally-approved identification.
Passport books meet October mandates, plus international travel via land, sea, or air.
Passport cards meet October mandates, plus border crossings, but not international air travel.
Real ID cards meet October mandates, but not any international travel.
Many people purchase both the passport book and the passport card at the same time. Passport cards are easier to carry than the bulky passport book (must have for international air travel). It costs time and money to apply for a book or card at a later date, which requires attachment of the valid passport (book or card). Only one execution fee ($35) and one passport photo ($15) are needed when both the passport book and card are purchased at the same time.
People need driver’s licenses. A Real ID is optional, unless it is a commercial driver’s license.
When is a good time to apply for a passport?
One million passport applications are currently pending nationwide. Eighteen million were processed in 2019.
Now is the best time to apply for passports to avoid added fees to expedite service and to avoid the high demand period (May through August). The standard four-to-six-week turnaround for routine applications is presently taking up to eight weeks.
Don’t delay getting your federally-approved ID before the October 1, 2020 mandate!
Contact City Hall (895-4656) for more information about passports or the DMV (895-4244) about a Real ID.