The security process for flying has dramatically changed since the events of September 11th, and things are about to change again. One-year from now in October of 2020, residents will be required to present a REAL ID to fly within the United States and to enter certain federal facilities. The Michigan Secretary of State is now offering REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses. If you already have an enhanced driver’s license or enhanced state ID card, then you already have a REAL ID-compliant card. To obtain a REAL ID, take your Michigan license or ID card and proof of your Social Security number and citizenship or legal presence to a Secretary of State office. If your name appears different than what is on your birth certificate, you need to bring a certified name change document. This document can be a marriage license or court order. You can apply for the REAL ID anytime, or wait until it is time for your renewal. The renewal notice will tell Michigan residents whether or not the current license is compliant.
The federal standards were drafted in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. The REAL ID law sets document and security protocols for the production of driver’s licenses and ID cards, including the use of features to prevent illegal copying or altering. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is charged with enforcement of REAL ID.