How it works: What is REAL ID?

Tennessee residents will need to have a REAL ID to board domestic flights beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Tennessee residents will need to have a REAL ID to board domestic flights beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Beginning in October 2020, new identification standards intended to increase U.S. security will go into effect.

New ID cards and driver’s licenses—REAL ID—are the same as standard ID’s or licenses, but they also have a gold circle and a star in the top right corner.

Possession of a REAL ID is not mandatory. However, after Oct. 1, 2020, REAL ID will be required for domestic flights and for those needing to access certain federal buildings, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

REAL ID cards will cost the same to issue as regular driver’s licenses and ID cards, so long as the individual is within their renewal period. For those not within their renewal period, a duplicate fee will be charged. Individuals will need two documents to serve as proof of Tennessee residency as well as proof of citizenship and proof of social security, according to the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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