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Countdown continues for flyers to get Real ID licenses

December 26, 2019 GMT

The deadline is less than a year away for people to obtain updated driver’s licenses or ID cards so they can fly commercially and enter federal facilities.

An Iowa or Nebraska license that complies with the federal Real ID program has a small white star in a gold circle background on the upper right-hand corner.

The star shows licensees already have undergone additional ID verification steps as required by the program. Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards, following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission. The deadline is Oct. 1, 2020.

Older IDs still will let people drive, buy liquor or other age-regulated products, and gamble at casinos. Travelers also can use military IDs or passports to access flights and federal facilities.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has issued 1,044,851 Real IDs as of Dec. 17, or to 40.64 percent of the state’s 2,570,981 total licensees, The Gazette reported.

In 2013 Nebraska began issuing driver’s licenses and state identification cards that comply with Real ID requirements. Because of the state’s five-year renewal cycle. all licenses, permits and ID cards in use now should meet the federal requirements, the Omaha World-Herald reported.