The U.S. Travel Association is making a direct appeal to the American news media: Please mention the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline for REAL ID enforcement in this year’s round of Thanksgiving travel stories.
By next Thanksgiving, the mandate to possess a REAL ID-compliant identity document for air travel is going to be in full effect — and about 57% of Americans are completely unaware of that deadline, according to data released by U.S. Travel in September.
U.S. Travel research further found that about 99 million Americans were likely without any form of REAL ID — a compliant driver’s license, a passport or a military ID — at the time of the survey. Anyone who shows up at the airport next Oct. 1 without the correct identification risks being turned away from getting on a plane.
U.S. Travel leaders fear that individuals who only travel occasionally are most likely to be affected — making this year’s coverage a crucial opportunity to spread the word about REAL ID.
“Significant lack of awareness is one of the challenges we face as the REAL ID enforcement deadline approaches next year,” said U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow. “We are concerned not only about the post-deadline effects for major travel times like Thanksgiving, but also about the significant crunch at state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) throughout next year as people scramble to obtain their REAL ID.”
The message that must be repeated to get people #RealIDready, Dow said: At a minimum, check for the star that appears in the top right-hand corner of most REAL IDs — but ideally, contact your DMV directly to find out if you’re compliant.
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