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Countdown to the REAL ID ACT

One year from today, the REAL ID ACT will go into effect, changing the required identification needed to board an airplane. A year goes by fast. To avoid future problems, here’s what you should anticipate for the October 1, 2020 deadline.

What do I need to know about the REAL ID ACT? 

Once the REAL ID ACT goes into effect, only the correct identification will allow entry into federal buildings, including federally regulated commercial aircrafts. Though passports will be accepted, driver’s licenses and identification cards need to be updated to include scannable microchip technology. It is the responsibility of the individual state to implement these changes. If the traveler does not have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, they will need an additional form of approved identification, or they will not be allowed to board the aircraft. 

For years the REAL ID ACT has been surrounded by confusion and chaos. In January 2018, the government as a whole delayed the enactment of the REAL ID ACT until October 1, 2020. The purpose was to give all 50 states adequate time to prepare. Now that the 2020 deadline is approaching, it’s time to make sure your state is compliant and you have the appropriate identification. 

How do I know if my driver’s license is REAL ID compliant? 

Because every state is responsible for issuing REAL ID compliant identification, it’s best to check your state’s DMV website for up-to-date and correct information. With only a few straggling states, almost all are currently in compliance. 

There is also an easy way to tell if your license has the scannable technology. A star in the upper right corner indicates it is REAL ID compliant, though there are various versions of the star logo. 

real-id-act-starIf you do not have a star in the upper corner, you will need to get a new driver’s license. 

Another point to remember, if your state is compliant, and your license is due to expire before the October 1, 2020 deadline, the new id sent to you will have the RFID indicated star. 

Have additional questions? Read this information packet from the TSA.  You can also tweet them with specific questions regarding #check4thestar

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Business Travel Travel Tips

How to Avoid Security Lines (or at least get through them faster)

Avoid Long Security Lines at Airports

Avoid long security lines at the airport

Some travelers can be their own worst enemy when it comes to slowing down the security lines. They don’t follow the publicized rules and continue to try and sneak items past security. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscates thousands of items every year. Below are a few resources for travelers to use and review that will help avoid those long security lines.

  1. This app, provided by the TSA, allows travelers to check wait times for security lines.
  2. Another program, offered by the TSA, is the Pre?™ program. This program prescreens frequent flyers so you can avoid long lines and breeze through security. To qualify, the traveler needs to fly certain number of miles annually and be invited by the airline as a trusted traveler. To learn more about this program please visit TSA.gov.
  3. The Global Entry Program is for low-risk international travelers coming to the United States. Global Entry members can use the Global Entry kiosks located at airports by entering their passport to activate the system. The kiosk then scans the traveler’s fingerprint and compares it to fingerprint biometrics data on file. In order to qualify for this program, travelers need to complete the Global Entry application, found here. There is a fee of $100 to process the application. Global Entry, once approved, is valid for 5 years.
  4. CLEAR is another speedy way to get through security by automating a traveler’s identity using biometrics, fingerprints, and their iris. After completing an online registration process, a traveler will receive instructions to visit an enrollment center with their driver’s license and passport (or other approved ID) to complete enrollment. Once approved, they then receive a CLEAR card by mail to present at the exclusive CLEAR lane at security check points. CLEAR is currently not available at all airports, but is expanding. The yearly cost for CLEAR is $179. Visit ClearMe.com for more information and to access to the online registration form.