You may have heard about a REAL ID, but don’t quite know what it is or what it means for travel. If you are renewing your driver’s license or state-issued ID and plan to travel, you want to ensure it is a REAL ID. REAL IDs will be required for all domestic air travel effective May 7, 2025.
The REAL ID Act’s purpose is to set higher security standards for driver’s licenses and ID cards, along with making our country’s identity documents more consistent and secure.
Why Should I Upgrade to a REAL ID?
As of today, you need to present your driver’s license before flying anywhere within the United States. After May 7, 2025, though, your non-compliant license or state-issued ID is no longer enough.
Even if you’re only flying within the country, you’ll need to present your REAL ID. Without a REAL ID, you may use a valid passport or a military ID. But if you don’t have a passport and you aren’t in the service, you will need a REAL ID to fly after that date.
Do I Already Have a REAL ID?
If you’ve been to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles lately, it’s likely that you’ve upgraded your non-compliant ID to a REAL ID.
Here’s how to tell: if you have a REAL ID, there’s a star in the upper right corner of your ID. If you have that star, you are good to go, and you can use your ID to fly both now and after May 7, 2025.
To learn more about whether or not you’re REAL ID ready, answer these simple questions.
What If I Don’t Have a REAL ID Yet?
If you haven’t yet upgraded to a REAL ID, you’re still free to fly with your non-compliant ID – that is, until May 7, 2025. That date bears repeating, since it’s a very important benchmark for when you’ll be mandated to upgrade in order to fly.
If you don’t have a REAL ID yet, make sure to bring the necessary documents to the BMV or Secretary of State’s office to upgrade your ID. The good news is that if you upgrade to a REAL ID during your normal renewal period, there’s no added fee to do so.
Upgrading is the Smart Decision
We recommend upgrading to a REAL ID not only because it’s a safe choice, but because it will make your life easier, especially when you travel – and simplifying your travel experience is what we aim to do at South Bend International Airport.
At the moment, you can still fly domestically without a REAL ID, but it’s in your best interest to upgrade as soon as you can. That way, you’ll have no trouble flying with us in the future.
We offer nonstop flights to 12 destinations with a variety of connections worldwide. To book your next trip, check out the airlines who fly with us.