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Airlines Require REAL ID

Post Date:10/01/2019 1:52 PM

One year may seem like a long time, but the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Iowa Airports came together today to encourage anyone who plans on flying on a commercial airline or entering a federal building after Oct. 1, 2020 to consider obtaining a REAL ID sooner rather than later. 

“A year from today, all passengers flying out of airports around Iowa and the country, will need a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of ID such as a passport or military ID to board a plane,” said John Bright, TSA Iowa federal security director. “Passengers who are unable to verify their identity or do not present an acceptable form of identification will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.”

REAL ID compliant cards in Iowa are marked with a star surrounded by a gold circle in the upper righthand corner. 

REAL ID Sample

To get a REAL ID marked card, federal law requires you to verify your identity by providing the same documentation you provided when you got your first license or ID card. You will need to visit any Iowa driver’s license or ID issuance location and bring documents that prove your identity, social security number, Iowa residency, and proof of legal name changes - if your name is different from the name on your identity document. To build a list of documents you need to bring with you, visit

Once the REAL ID star has been added to your card, you will be issued a REAL ID compliant card whenever you renew your license.

The Iowa DOT has been issuing REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards since January 2013. Since that time, anyone who has received an Iowa license for the first time should have been automatically given a REAL ID.

Still only 36 percent of Iowans currently have a card with the REAL ID gold star in the top right corner.

If you decide you need a REAL ID, you can get one at any time. If your card is up for renewal before Oct. 1, 2020 or you don’t plan to fly commercially or enter a federal building before your renewal date, you can simply wait until it’s time to renew and receive a REAL ID marked card at no additional cost. However, if your license or ID is not up for renewal and you need a REAL ID marked card, you can bring the necessary documents in and receive the REAL ID marking on your card for the $10 cost of a replacement card. Replacement cards will be sent to your mailing address within 7-21 days. You must obtain the REAL ID marking in person. It is not available the first time through online renewal or a kiosk.

“It’s important to note that not everyone will need a REAL ID. If you don’t plan to use your state-issued card to fly or enter a federal building you don’t need to worry about getting one. In addition, having a REAL ID does not change your ability to use your Iowa driver’s license or ID for uses such as driving, renting a vehicle, writing a check, purchasing alcohol or tobacco, or entering a casino,” said Mark Lowe, Iowa DOT director




Contact: Melissa Spiegel at 515-681-6597 or or Andrea Henry at 515-239-1730 or


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