Get your license to fly


COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Registrar Charles Norman, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Ohio Security Director Donald Barker, and Columbus Regional Airport Authority President/CEO Joseph Nardone reminded travelers that strengthened federal requirements surrounding air travel in the United States go into effect in less than one year.

Beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, the federal government will no longer consider standard driver’s licenses as a sufficient form of identification for air travel. Going forward, TSA will require a federally compliant driver’s license/identification card or another acceptable form of identification (such as a U.S. passport or military ID) to fly within the United States.

Ohio began offering federally compliant licenses and identification cards on July 2, 2018. Since then, only 27 percent of Ohioans obtaining a new or renewed card have opted for the federally compliant version.

“We want to make sure Ohio travelers are aware of the upcoming change in the law and have ample time to get their federally compliant license or identification card if they need one,” said Governor DeWine. “Our goal is to eliminate headaches and frustration at Ohio’s airports so that our citizens can quickly get where they need to go.”

The new federal requirements are part of the 2005 REAL ID Act which Congress passed following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The strengthened federal requirements standardize the process of issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards throughout the country to prevent identity theft and fraud. Federally compliant cards include a number of enhanced security features and are marked with a black star in the right-hand corner.

Ohioans who choose to obtain a compliant new or renewed license or identification card will be required to provide documentation at a deputy registrar location proving their name and date of birth (such as a birth certificate or passport), Social Security number (such as a Social Security card or most recent W2), and two additional documents proving residential address (such as a utility bill or bank statement). Those who have changed their names must also provide a certified marriage certificate, divorce decree, U.S. passport, or court order with their legal name.

The Ohio BMV has a full list of documents that Ohioans can use to obtain a compliant driver’s license or ID at The website also has an interactive checklist to help Ohioans create a customized, printable list of documents.

“The BMV looks forward to working with our partners across the state to provide Ohioans with the information and tools they need to make their REAL ID interaction go as smoothly as possible,” said Ohio BMV Registrar Charles Norman. “We encourage customers to make an informed decision about their REAL-ID needs well in advance of Oct. 1, 2020, to avoid the potential rush as we approach the federal deadline for compliance.”

Ohioans do have the option to carry a standard, non-compliant driver’s license or identification card for purposes of driving, voting, etc. Standard cards do not require the additional documentation needed for federally compliant cards, but TSA will not accept them to board an airline flight. Those with standard cards can, however, board a flight with another type of acceptable documentation such as a U.S. passport or military ID. A full list of documents accepted by TSA for airline flights can be found at

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