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New ID Standards Coming Soon To Austin Airport's Security Checkpoints

Julia Reihs
New ID standards are coming to security checkpoints at airports around the nation, including Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport officials said they’re working to let airline passengers know new security standards are coming.

ABIA and other airports across the nation will take only REAL ID-compliant licenses and driver licenses beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Texas REAL ID-Compliant licenses and IDs all have a yellow star toward the upper-right hand corner. In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which was recommended by the 9/11 Commission. It created minimum security standards for driver licenses and state-issued IDs.

The federal regulation also prohibits federal agencies from accepting IDs and licenses that don’t meet those requirements for “official purposes, such as security checkpoints.”

REAL ID-compliant driver licenses have a gold star in the upper right-hand corner.

“The license has different security features built in,” Carrie Harmon, a spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration, said. “It’s just a way for us at TSA to know that you are who you say you are.”

ABIA, along with airports around the state, have posted signage for passengers to remind them of the upcoming changes.

“Every state is different and here in Texas they’ve been issuing them since 2016,” Harmon said. “I believe more than 70 percent of Texas residents already have one.”

Skylor Hearn, a deputy director with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a press release today that DPS “wants to assure Texans that they have multiple options,” which includes notifying Texas residents whose non-compliant ID cards expire after October 2020 whether they can renew early or request a duplicate by the approaching deadline.

Airport passengers that do not have a REAL ID-compliant ID or license by next year, can also use alternatives for identification, like a passport or military ID.

DaLyah Jones is a former assistant producer for All Things Considered and evening host. She is also co-host of the Two & Fro podcast.