MOMENTUM

The REAL ID Act: What It Means for Executive Business Travel

Jon Hooton

September 17, 2019

Beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler 18 years or older will need a REAL ID in order to fly within the United States – both commercially and privately. Here are a few things you need to know about to ensure you and your executives don’t experience any travel interruptions.

 

What Is the REAL ID Act?

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2015, is designed to thwart terrorism by setting national security standards for state-issued identification cards. The act prohibits federal agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration from accepting identification cards that do not meet these standards for official purposes—i.e. boarding a commercial flight or private aircraft. As part of the REAL ID Act, the identification cards will also be created in a way that makes them much more difficult to forge. All states will need to be in compliance by October 1, 2020.

 

Does My Executive Need a REAL ID?

Obtaining a REAL ID isn’t necessarily mandatory. If your executive typically travels using their passport—even for domestic trips—their passport will still be sufficient to allow them to enter an airport terminal and board a plane after October 1, 2020.

However, if your executive prefers to fly domestically using only their state-issued ID, or if your executive does not have a passport, they will need to obtain either a passport or a REAL ID prior to October 1, 2020. Also, if your executive is ever required to enter a secure federal facility and they do not have a military ID, they will need a REAL ID.

 

What Does a REAL ID Look Like?

In most states, a REAL ID is identified by a gold or black star on the front of the license. If you see this star, your identification card is already in compliance. Keep in mind that four states have issued compliant identification cards without a star: Ohio, Utah, Tennessee and Hawaii. If your executive lives in one of these states, they will need to check with their individual state issuing agency to ensure that their identification card is compliant.

Note that some identifications cards will specifically identify themselves as non-compliant, using phrases like “Not for Federal Identification” or “Federal Limits Apply.”

 

How Does My Executive Obtain a REAL ID?

To ensure that your executive is prepared for this change, have them take the following steps:

  • Visit their local DMV, DPS or state equivalent well before the deadline. Appointments can be made online in most cases.
  • Make sure your executive brings all necessary documents with them to their appointment. These include proof of identity (U.S. birth certificate, passport or a permanent resident card), proof of Social Security Number (SSN card or W-2), and two proof of residency documents (utility bill, lease or mortgage, etc.). If applicable, your executive will also need to bring an official name change document (i.e. marriage certificate).
  • Pay a fee for the new identification card. This fee varies by state.

 

Savoya Helps You and Your Executive Avoid Travel Interruptions

Savoya is more than a ground transportation company. We are your trusted partner in ensuring that your executive has a seamless, frictionless experience–from booking to final destination and beyond.

Our expert teams and innovative technology help your executive stay safe and productive as they navigate the noisy, unpredictable environment around them and make their mark on the world.

When time is money, travel has to be interruption-free. Savoya is equipped and able to eliminate these costly interruptions and distractions on the ground.

 

What are other ways Executive Assistants can help their executives avoid travel interruptions? Leave us a note below with your comments.

Jon Hooton

Mr. Hooton serves as Savoya’s Vice President of Operations, giving him an insider’s perspective into the challenges faced by travel managers. His contributions are grounded in this insight, and emphasize travel and safety best practices for travel coordinators and the teams they serve.

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