Countdown to REAL ID

In less than 12 months, the REAL ID law goes into full effect, significantly changing the rules of the game for domestic air travel and the ability to enter some federal facilities, including military bases and nuclear power plants. Today, as the countdown to REAL ID continues, it’s time to consider if you are ready.

When the law goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020, anyone who travels by air domestically will be required to have a REAL ID-compliant document. Some identity documents already meet the high security standards of the REAL ID Act, including valid U.S. passports, DHS Trusted Traveler Cards and enhanced driver’s licenses. If you have one of these, you are REAL ID-ready and good to go. If you don’t, you have the option of turning your standard driver’s license or state ID card – the kind most of us have, into a REAL ID by visiting any Secretary of State office and presenting the required identity documents listed at

Here in Washtenaw County, just 48 percent of Michigan driver’s licenses are REAL ID-compliant.

The REAL ID deadline is now only months away. Are you ready? For more information or to make an appointment with the Secretary of State’s office, visit

NOTE: Enhanced driver’s licenses are automatically REAL ID-compliant.