US travel group warns 57% of Americans unaware of REAL-ID deadline: Warns Federal Lawmakers

The US Travel Association warned federal lawmakers on Oct. 17 that “Americans are not ready” for the October 2020 deadline for REAL ID enforcement.

Passed in 2005, the REAL ID Act’s implementation has been delayed by a series of extensions intended to provide states more time to bring their IDs into compliance. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has said there will be no further delays, and come Oct. 1, 2020, all US citizens will need a REAL ID-compliant license or acceptable alternative to fly, such as passport, military ID or DHS trusted traveler card.

“We’re very concerned that 57% of Americans don’t even know that this deadline is coming. We have as many as 99 million Americans who are not REAL ID-compliant, so 89,000 people on Oct. 1, 2020 will be potentially turned away at the airport, and that’s not acceptable,” US Travel Association EVP-public affairs and policy Tori Barnes told senators during an Oct. 17 hearing of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Security.

Barnes highlighted several proposals that she said would “help avoid chaos at our airports come the October 2020 deadline.”