Tennessee rolls out REAL IDs; new state licenses required to fly starting October 2020

Tennessee issuing REAL IDs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Big changes are ahead for Mid-South frequent flyers come 2020.

REAL IDs will be required for travelers to get through security. Beginning Oct. 1 of next year every traveler over the age of 18 will either need a REAL ID or passport to get through an airport security checkpoint.

The 15-month grace period starts now as the state began issuing REAL IDs Monday.

With a trip to California on the horizon for Charles Hill, he was one of the first Tennesseans to make the switch.

“We just ran down here and tried to get it done on the first day,” said Hill. “Saw it in the mail, it came on TV and you know I get emails telling you you got to get it done so might as well get it done.”

Tennesseans are required to go to a driver service center to get a REAL ID and show proof of your social security number, proof of US citizenship and two proofs of Tennessee residency to get the ID.

The cost ranges from $8 to $12 depending on how many duplicates you've requested in the past.

REAL IDs will feature a yellow star in the corner -- something you’ll be required to have starting October 2020 to get through a TSA security checkpoint if you want to fly.

New state licenses to be issued beginning July 1

“Our national security depends upon a secure driver’s license and the identification documents that’s being standardized for all the states in the US,” said Commissioner Jeff Long, Safety & Homeland Security Monday.

REAL IDs are an enhanced security measure enacted by Congress in 2005 in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. The change requires residents to present more documents than were previously required to prove their identity and legal residency.

But getting the new ID is optional.

"I want to encourage everyone to get it this. You never know when you are going to fly. You never know when you’re going to need to go in to a federal building. Go ahead and get it done, " said Tennessee State Sen. Richard Briggs.

The state says it brought in additional workers to assist with expected crowds coming in to make the switch.

The Transportation Security Administration has a complete list of the 14 forms of ID that agents will accept at security checkpoints.

Learn more about REAL IDs here.

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