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Air travelers need to obtain Real ID before October

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Photo Courtesy: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) --- In nine months, travelers will need new identification if they plan to fly domestically.

Beginning October 1, authorities will no longer accept a regular driver's license or ID. Instead, fliers will need a Real ID.

A star in the upper left-hand corner denotes a Real ID.

Photo Courtesy: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Congress passed the Real ID Act back in 2005 which is the purpose of the switch. The move deals with security and standards when it comes to identification.

"It's just way for TSA, the government to be able to have that extra layer of security to prove that people who have their names on boarding passes are who they say they are, so it's just a heightened level of security that Congress has been planning for for a long time," said Miranda TerBeest, La Crosse Regional Airport communication manager.

To obtain a Real ID, travelers can head to their local Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV requires proof of name, date of birth, legal presence in the United States, proof of identity, proof of name change if applicable, proof of social security number, and proof of address. No photocopies will be allowed. Official documents must be original or certified.

However, there is another form of identification that you can use to fly within the country if you haven't made the switch.

"If you don't have a Real ID, you can always still use your passport," said TerBeest. "Your passport will work just as well as a Real ID would. It's just that before, you only needed your passport to travel internationally, but now, beginning October 1st of this year, you'll need either a passport or a Real ID."

If you do not have either form by October 1, you will not be able to make it through security.

To learn more about obtaining a Real ID, visit https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/license-drvs/how-to-apply/realid.aspx

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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