Traveling and not sure what all the talk about Real ID, TSA PreCheck, and regular security lines is about? Here is a quick rundown of what you need to know!
Real ID was put into place to streamline identification needed to access certain federal buildings including federally regulated aircraft. This law was enacted in 2005, however trying to get all 50 states and US territories all on the same page is a bit of a challenge.
As of this date, if you are going to be flying, you will either need a passport or a Real ID by MAY 3, 2023.
Each state has it’s current guidelines and rules. The deadline has been pushed back so much already. The current date is May 3, 2023. We don’t know if this will change again. When applying for your Real ID, you will need to make an appointment. Check this website to see what documents you will need to take with you to apply for the Real ID. https://www.dhs.gov/real-id
Now, do you need this? Not necessarily. If you have a passport, and you do not want to get a Real ID, as long as you are okay traveling with your passport when flying, then you are good. Just don’t forget to start bringing it with you in May of 2023.
Seriously everyone, if you travel a lot, especially by plane, this is a MUST!!!!!
No one likes to wait in the long security lines, then take out their tablets, liquids, take off belts, shoes and then get scanned to then just put everything back on – shoes, belts, jewelry – repack your carryon bag and then go to the gate to wait. Getting yourself and your family TSA PreCheck will save so much time and headache!
If you are age 13 and over, everyone should have their own TSA Known Traveler Number (KTN). How do you get this? To be able to take advantage of the TSA PreCheck lines at security, you head to the following website and answer some questions and then you schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted. Once all of that is done, your Known Traveler Number (KTN) is emailed and mailed to you. Once you have this, you can save it in your preferred airlines profiles. https://www.tsa.gov/precheck
If you have children under 13, they can go through the TSA PreCheck line with their parents.
Now, this is not an option to use while traveling Internationally when returning to the United States in foreign security lines. There is Global Entry that is available to help upon return to the United States. If applying for TSA PreCheck, you can add Global Entry at your initial application. https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry?language_content_entity=en
If your time is valuable, and these days when everything seems to take so much more time, TSA PreCheck is currently $85 and it is good for FIVE YEARS!!!!!!! The value is definitely there.
As always, please always consult these websites as they are the official websites for each program. Things change, and if things are different, the websites listed above will be the spot you want to check.