I just got an email from the Michigan Secretary of State's office. Did you know, come 2020, you going to need a special driver's license to get on airplanes?

It's a federal mandate that goes into effect on October 1st, 2020. You can start applying for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, beginning this next Monday, August 28th.

optional REAL ID-compliant license
REAL-ID Michigan Driver's License. (Michigan Secretary of State)

“Without a card accepted by the federal government, Michigan residents will face the inconvenience and extra expense of having to get a passport or another accepted document to fly or visit federal buildings,” Johnson said. “To avoid future headaches for travelers, we will offer a compliant card for those who want one, and, for those who don’t, we still have the standard card for normal identification purposes.” - Michigan Secretary of State's office.


optional REAL ID-compliant license
Regular Michigan Driver's LIcense. (Michigan Secretary of State)

Here's how it affects you, if you fly domestically: Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, the federal government will not allow Michigan residents carrying a driver’s license or ID card that does not comply with the federal REAL ID Act to board domestic flights. Not only that, but this also affects you if you simply want to enter a federal building, nuclear plant or military base, unless they have another accepted identity document. Yes, the other scenarios are limited and specific, but the boarding an airplane part applies to pretty much everyone.

"Compliant cards will be marked with a star inside a gold circle on the upper right. There is no extra fee for a REAL ID-compliant card and compliant cards will not contain Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology"

If you're drivers license is expiring in the next few years, check the renewal notice that gets mailed to you. The SOS office may already have the documentation needed, but, if not, it's going to be a good idea to bring your birth certificate and get this taken care of.



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