Do you need an enhanced license to fly in the US?

Do you need an enhanced license to fly in the US?

Yes, you may fly domestically with your improved driver's license. Your improved driver's license or ID card fulfills federal REAL ID requirements and can be used to fly domestically. However, these cards are not accepted for entry into military bases, national parks, or other government facilities that require a passport.

In order to travel beyond the borders of the United States, you will need a passport. However, if it is at all possible, we recommend that you avoid flying within the country because even though your license is current, the photograph on your license may not match what they call "the picture problem." When this happens, you cannot board the flight.

The only way around this is if there is a direct flight that does not go through any cities within the United States. If this is the case, you could probably make it out of the country with your license.

Even though it is impossible to predict exactly what might happen when you use your license as identification, our best advice is to leave no stone unturned when searching for flights. It is not uncommon for someone who has never been denied boarding access to a flight to miss it somehow. So, if all else fails, call the airline directly to see if there are any seats available.

Do you need a driver's license to fly in the USA?

No, however you will need a legitimate ID, and your driver's license may no longer suffice. The Real ID Act is now fully implemented, and most states are issuing compatible IDs. However, this does not imply that your existing driver's license is valid for domestic flight travel. To fly within the United States, you may need to update your ID or obtain a passport.

In addition, many airports have their own requirements for photographic identification. Some require a photo on a card more than one step removed from the actual license or ID; others may want a digital image. You should check with the airport you plan to visit before arriving at the airport.

It is also important to note that some states do not recognize each other's licenses, so even if you can prove who you are with a valid license from another state, you might not be allowed to board the plane unless the state where the problem occurred issues its own license. For example, Kansas does not recognize Tennessee licenses, so even if you have a valid license from Tennessee, you would not be allowed to enter Kansas without producing a new license. There are plenty of other states' laws that could prevent you from boarding the plane. It is best to know the rules ahead of time so you do not get stopped at the gate.

Finally, it is important to remember that although federal law does not require you to show a photo ID to fly, the airlines must allow you to fly under certain conditions.

Why would I need an enhanced driver’s license?

A Government REAL ID-compliant upgraded license, permit, or non-driver ID is accepted to board a domestic aircraft (inside the United States), enter military bases, and some federal buildings. The card will also be recognized at land borders.

An applicant for an enhanced license must provide evidence of having met the requirements for state eligibility by submitting a copy of their birth certificate that shows they were born in the United States, or a passport showing they were born in another country with proof of citizenship.

Applicants between the ages of 18 and 21 will need to submit a copy of their birth certificate that shows they were born in the United States, or a passport showing they were born in another country with proof of citizenship.

Those who don't meet these requirements can still apply for an enhanced license, but won't be eligible until they turn 22. They will need to provide evidence of being of legal age before they can be issued an enhanced license.

The Maryland Transportation Authority provides written information about how to obtain an enhanced drivers license or identification card on its website.

An applicant needs to complete an Application for State Identification Card (Form MVA-1098) and pay a $20 application fee to begin the process. A Social Security number is required at time of application.

About Article Author

Barbara Marquardt

Barbara Marquardt loves to travel. She enjoys visiting new places, trying out new things and meeting people with similar interests. Barbara's always on the lookout for ways to explore the world around her and make her life more fulfilling.

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