Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated and travel is on everyone’s minds, there’s an important deadline coming up that you need to keep in mind — October 1, 2021. On this day, you’ll need either a REAL-ID, passport or military ID in order to board a flight, even a domestic one, or to get into a federal building.  If you want a The REAL ID -compliant driver’s license or photo ID, you have six months left to book an appointment to get this done.

“Starting October 1, 2021, if you typically use your driver’s license or non-driver ID (instead of a passport or other form of ID) to fly within the U.S. you probably want a REAL ID,” the website says. “Otherwise you will need to use a valid U.S. passport or another federally approved form of identification. The Standard New Jersey driver license can still be used for driving.”

The REAL ID looks different in that it has a yellow star in the upper right hand corner of the driver’s license. If you want to book an appointment to get a REAL ID, you’ll need to check the website frequently, as they are difficult to come by as the demand is so high.

The MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) said that the COVID-19 pandemic had greatly affected the ability of states to issue the REAL ID, and that they are currently working to fix the problem. The national date for requiring these was October 2020, but was pushed back to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The REAL ID Act was passed after the September 11th attacks as a way to establish minimum security standards for ID cards and driver’s licenses. A REAL ID costs $24 in NJ, the same as a driver’s license, and changing your current license for a REAL ID will run you $11. To get the REAL ID you’ll need:

  • 2 proofs of residential address
  • 1 proof of Social Security number
  • 6 points of ID

You can visit the REAL ID website for more information.

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