Deadline extended for Real ID demand for travelers

CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) Over the past year, signs at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in airports warned of a January 22, 2018 deadline. The signs warned even if flyers didn't have an ID from a state compliant with the Real ID act or had an extension. The signs were up as recently as over the holidays, but if you traveled during the past few weeks you may not have seen the signs. That's because the January 22 deadline has been extended by the Department of Homeland Security.

"What it means is people that don't have them will still be able to travel," Alex Smith, public information officer for the Department of Motor Vehicles, said.

States that are not compliant with the Real ID act have all been granted extensions through October 2018. But Nevadans never really had to pay attention to this week's deadline.

"We have been Real ID compliant for several years," Smith said. "So most of our citizens, if they've wanted to get a Real ID, they've had the opportunity to do so."

But even if your driver's license doesn't have a star in the upper right hand corner, you can still fly- at least for another two years. Starting October 1, 2020, all people flying on a domestic flight will have to have a Real ID or use another form of identification, like a passport, to travel. That deadline may be two years away, but that doesn't mean people should delay the process.

For a Real ID, people need one proof of identification, one proof of your Social Security number, and two proofs of residency. It's a few more steps, but starting the process now is important because you never know what challenges you may run into.

"It's a little more difficult because you do have to have very original documents," Smith said. "We don't accept copies for the Real ID, and that's a federal rule, or else we could lose our status."

Smith says it is important to note getting a Real ID is not mandatory. If you don't plan to travel or enter any federal facility, your regular ID will be fine. But not knowing what may happen in the future, Smith says it's better to be safe than sorry.

"You really only have to come to the DMV to renew your driver's license every 8 years now instead of four," she said. "So if you take the opportunity to come in and get the Real ID, you'll be safe."

For more information on the documents needed for Real ID, click here.