Countdown on: Mass. residents will soon need REAL ID to board an airplane

BOSTON (WHDH) - Massachusetts residents who want to board an airplane have one year to get a star on their driver’s license, indicating that it is a REAL ID, the Transportation Security Administration announced.

October marks the one-year countdown to the implementation of REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards, which have a star in the upper right corner inside a gold circle to indicate that it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards. The upgraded cards will be required starting Oct. 1, 2020.

Residents have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID if their license does not currently have the star.

Those who stick with an older standard driver’s license will not be valid to board a domestic flight or access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices.

To get the REAL ID star on a driver’s license, residents will need to visit their local Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles office in person and bring one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of Massachusetts residency, a social security card, and a current driver’s license.

TSA officers who staff ticket document checking stations at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a REAL ID license after Oct. 1, 2020.

In addition to REAL ID cards, TSA officers will accept a valid passport, a federal government PIV card, and a U.S. military ID.

Officials say the new cards are intended to inhibit terrorists from evading detection by using fraudulent identification.

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