Wicker Emphasizes Importance of Public Awareness Campaigns for REAL ID

September 19, 2019

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, this week sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requesting information on their efforts to ensure the public is aware of an impending change to the law that will require air travelers to have REAL ID compliant identification.

“Beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license (or other acceptable form of ID) to fly within the United States,” writes Wicker. “I am increasingly concerned about the potential disruption for air travel if there is widespread lack of compliance with the law among the flying public. DHS’s efforts will play a crucial role in ensuring that the public is aware and takes the necessary steps to acquire compliant identification.”

The full letter to DHS and TSA specifically requests information about steps being taken to inform the traveling public about the REAL ID compliance deadline, ways DHS is engaging aviation and travel industry stakeholders, actions DHS is taking to work with relevant state licensing officials, and the department’s contingency plans for potential disruptions to air travel after the October 1 deadline. Last week the committee held a TSA oversight hearing. During that hearing, the topic of REAL ID compliance was discussed in detail with Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell.

In addition to the letter to DHS, the chairman sent letters to various travel industry stakeholders urging them to engage with DHS and TSA and to amplify the agencies’ message about ways to acquire a REAL ID-compliant identification card and the upcoming deadline.

Click here for the letter to DHS and TSA.

Click here for the letters to the Travel Technology Association, U.S. Travel Association, Airlines for America, and Global Business Travel Association.