Frontera Fund News Resources

Domestic Travel ID: What DREAMers Need to Know

Written by Carmen Cornejo

You may have heard that people in some states will soon have to use their passport instead of their driver’s license to board a domestic flight.

That’s because the U.S. government has adopted stricter ID requirements due to a legislation called Real ID.

Enacted in 2005, the Real ID Act modifies the standards for state-issued ID and driver’s licenses when they are used for boarding commercially operated airline flights and entering federal buildings or nuclear power plants, among other activities.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, by October 1, 2020, “every air traveler will need a Real ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic flights.”

How does this affect DACA-benefiting DREAMers, who in recent years have enjoyed the freedom to fly domestically with state-issued IDs or driver’s licenses?

The implementation of Real ID has not been easy, and DHS has deployed the program in stages. Some states have been adopting Real ID more quickly than others. However, Real ID-compliant identification will not be required to fly domestically until 2018. So DACA-DREAMers can identify themselves using their state’s driver’s license or ID until 2018 without worry.

Check your state’s compliance on this map.

Stay tuned for updates on this topic.