By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
It’s a potential nightmare: You and your family are about to board a flight for a dream vacation, you present your boarding pass and driver license as identification, when a security agent says:
“I’m sorry but this is no longer an acceptable form of identification – then you’re stuck,” said Lisa Farbstein, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman. “You may have non-refundable tickets, non-refundable hotel reservations and non-refundable car rental at the end of your flight. You may have non-refundable cruise at the end of your flight. You could be out thousands & thousands of dollars. Can’t fix it right away or overnight.”
Starting October 1st, less than 10 months from now, all commercial airline travelers must have a form of identification that complies with the Federal Real ID Act. It is a result of the 911 terrorist attacks.
And your current Oregon Driver License won’t cut it.
The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles won’t begin issuing Real ID compliant driver’s licenses until July 6th. That leaves less than three months for more than a million Oregonians who regularly fly commercial airlines to obtain the required identification.
“You can still get on a plane without rushing to DMV first,” said Tom Fuller, ODOT communications manager. “The answer for us Oregonians is a US Passport or a passport card. I’ve got ‘em. I’m going to start using them in 2020. How about you? The good news is if you don’t have one, you can apply for one today.”
Real ID compliant Identification costs about half that of a US Passport. But if you can’t obtain a Real ID due to long lines at the DMV before October 1st, a passport may be your best bet. Passports are good for international travel but they take about 3 weeks to obtain.
“You don’t want to be that guy, stuck at a check point with hundreds or thousands of dollars of unusable airline tickets,” Farbstein said.
For more information about Oregon Real ID and what you need to do visit oregon.gov/odot/dmv/pages/real_id.aspx