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REAL ID -- can a passport card suffice?
Old 01-06-2020, 06:37 AM   #1
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REAL ID -- can a passport card suffice?

OK, not quite travel related, but travel-adjacent, and as this is a smart and well-traveled group, I expect some of you will be more familiar with passport cards and REAL ID than most.


I have a noncompliant driver's license, but I have my passport for flying, and when I renewed I got the passport card, which I keep in my wallet. My DL doesn't expire for another three years, and since I like to LBYM I'm reluctant to pay a fee to renew early if there's no benefit. Since I carry my passport card with me, I am not worried about my DL not being accepted, so is there any reason I should care that my DL is not REAL ID compliant? I feel 99% certain that I'm fine, but of course I worry that I'm missing something, that there's some edge case where I'll wish I had updated my license.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:42 AM   #2
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From https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...estically.html

Quote:
The U.S. passport book and U.S. passport card are both accepted by TSA as ID for domestic flights.

You may not have heard about the U.S. passport card before. The passport card cannot be used for international air travel, but it is still a great ID to have in your wallet.

TSA accepts the passport card as ID for domestic flights.
The passport card can be used for entering the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
The passport card only costs $30 for adults if you already have a passport book, and only $65 for first time adult applicants.
The passport card has the same validity as the passport book: If you’re over 16, your passport card is valid for 10 years. If you’re under 16, your passport card is valid for 5 years.
EDIT: Oh! You may not be asking about using the card just for flying. Sorry.

OTOH, I can’t recall when I’ve needed a DL for anything else. I’m not aware of anyone other than TSA wanting real ID.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:45 AM   #3
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The passport card will cover you for those instances where a REAL ID driver's license would suffice.
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:00 AM   #4
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Federally issued IDs are real.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:51 AM   #5
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I just renewed my drivers license in November. I debated whether to spring for the upgraded Real ID license, but since I very rarely fly anywhere and already have a passport I opted for the standard license. I was able to do that online without leaving home, whereas I would have had to gather a bunch of documentation, visit a DMV office, and pay additional money for the upgraded license. Simply not worth the hassle in my situation.

If I really need to fly somewhere I'll just take my passport with me. I've only flown once in the last seven years, so it's not a big concern.

That said, I will probably have to visit the DMV office next time (every other renewal requires a new photo) and may opt for a Real ID then. If I'm already there, why not.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:00 AM   #6
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and pay additional money for the upgraded license.
How much additional is charged? Looks like TX missed out on the chance to levy an additional charge as the fee is the same for a Read ID license.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:01 AM   #7
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You need real ID for some federal facilities too. You can use the passport or passport card just don’t forget to bring it. NIH is an example but there are many other places
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:06 AM   #8
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I recently renewed my driver's license and decided to get the enhanced version despite having a passport card. Why? Why not?

I figure if I avoid just one missed domestic flight because I foolishly left the passport card at home, then the enhanced license will be worth its weight in gold.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:12 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
I just renewed my drivers license in November. I debated whether to spring for the upgraded Real ID license, but since I very rarely fly anywhere and already have a passport I opted for the standard license. I was able to do that online without leaving home, whereas I would have had to gather a bunch of documentation, visit a DMV office, and pay additional money for the upgraded license. Simply not worth the hassle in my situation.

If I really need to fly somewhere I'll just take my passport with me. I've only flown once in the last seven years, so it's not a big concern.

That said, I will probably have to visit the DMV office next time (every other renewal requires a new photo) and may opt for a Real ID then. If I'm already there, why not.
Thanks, that's pretty much what I'm thinking. I updated my photo last time, so if they let me renew online, I might stick with the noncompliant ID, since I really don't need the REAL ID DL.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:14 AM   #10
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How much additional is charged? Looks like TX missed out on the chance to levy an additional charge as the fee is the same for a Read ID license.
Here in Washington state it's $54 for a standard license for six years, or $78 for an enhanced (Real ID) license. Granted, that's not a big difference, but why spend the money for something I'll rarely, if ever, use. Especially when factoring in the convenience of renewing online vs spending the afternoon at DMV.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:46 AM   #11
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Strangely, I can't even apply for a Real ID type driver's license yet. My state has been clumsily trying to comply for years and they still don't have their act together yet. Current plan is to set up some regional offices to issue them, but nobody knows when or where yet.

Not a problem for us, since we have passport cards, but a pretty sad commentary on the state bureaucracy.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
Here in Washington state it's $54 for a standard license for six years, or $78 for an enhanced (Real ID) license. Granted, that's not a big difference, but why spend the money for something I'll rarely, if ever, use. Especially when factoring in the convenience of renewing online vs spending the afternoon at DMV.
Point of clarification: Enhanced driver's license (EDL) is NOT the same as a REAL ID.
they are 2 different things.

https://dmv.ny.gov/which-id-right-me

ENHANCED
  • An Enhanced license, permit, or non-driver ID can be used
  • to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.)
  • to enter a federal building or military base
  • to cross a U.S. border coming from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries (it is not acceptable for air travel between these countries)
  • for photo identification purposes

Enhanced
  • is Federal REAL ID compliant
  • costs an additional $30 on top of the regular transaction fees
  • requires an office visit to prove your
  • identity- *if your name has changed bring in marriage certificate(s), divorce decree(s) or court order document(s)
  • NY State residency
  • U.S. citizenship
  • date of birth
  • Social Security status
  • shows your full legal name (first, middle, last)
  • shows your residential address (where you live)
  • has an American flag displayed on the document



REAL ID
  • A REAL ID license, permit, or non-driver ID can be used
  • to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.)
  • to enter a federal building or military base
  • for photo identification purposes

REAL ID
  • is Federal REAL ID compliant
  • does not have additional cost, but all regular transaction fees will apply
  • requires an office visit to prove your
  • identity- *if your name has changed bring in marriage certificate(s), divorce decree(s) or court order document(s)
  • NY State residency
  • lawful presence in the U.S.
  • Social Security status
  • shows your full legal name (first, middle, last)
  • shows your residential address (where you live)
  • has a star displayed on the document
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:03 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Cosmic Avenger View Post
Since I carry my passport card with me, I am not worried about my DL not being accepted, so is there any reason I should care that my DL is not REAL ID compliant?
No.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainsoft View Post
Here in Washington state it's $54 for a standard license for six years, or $78 for an enhanced (Real ID) license. Granted, that's not a big difference, but why spend the money for something I'll rarely, if ever, use. Especially when factoring in the convenience of renewing online vs spending the afternoon at DMV.
Good point -- in my state, there's no extra charge. In fact, there's only one fee listed, so I'm assuming they don't issue noncompliant DLs any longer. I guess I was feeling like maybe I should update it early, but instead I will probably be one of the last holdouts with a noncompliant DL. But only because I don't see the need to waste my money renewing early!
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:31 AM   #15
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Same boat...DL doesn't expire for several more years, but passport expires this fall so I'll just pay for a renewal and add the passport card.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:47 AM   #16
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If you are in a trusted traveler program like Global Entry the ID card from that would also work as a real id. Real ID factsheet

My state hasn't gotten Real ID drivers licenses out yet and is going to charge an extra $30 each renewal so a passport card is the cheapest way to still be able to fly.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:56 AM   #17
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Point of clarification: Enhanced driver's license (EDL) is NOT the same as a REAL ID.
they are 2 different things.
Not something I was familiar with. Apparently, only five US states and two Canadian provinces issue Enhanced driver's licenses, so it seems to be an idea whose time has not yet come.
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Old 01-06-2020, 12:39 PM   #18
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Colorado has issued Real-ID Driver's Licenses since 2012 and is identified by a black "Star" in the upper right corner of the face side.

Since this is a Federal Regulation (TSA), the real source of information would be here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening

or more specifically here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-...identification
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:26 PM   #19
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Same boat...DL doesn't expire for several more years, but passport expires this fall so I'll just pay for a renewal and add the passport card.


Iím the same. I have the global entry card and when I renewed my passport last spring I got a passport card. Iíll just wait for my DL to expire before I upgrade.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:36 PM   #20
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I have a passport, but still opted to upgrade my non-expired DL to Real ID. In MO I think I paid $9 to change out the non-expired license (with 4 more years left on it).

My logic was, I ALWAYS have my DL with me when traveling inside the US, I seldom have my passport. What if we are on a driving vacation (say, spending the month in Florida) and one of us needs to get home immediately for an emergency?

While the passport card would serve the same purpose, I don't have one, and don't need ANOTHER card in my wallet.

OTOH, if I lived near our northern or southern boarder, or if we frequently took Caribbean cruises, I would probably opt for the convenience of the passport card.
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