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Mississippians may need to update their driver’s licenses for air travel



Mississippians who expect to do any traveling by air may need to get a new driver’s license this year, regardless of whether their license is due to expire.

New federal requirements called REAL ID go into effect on Oct. 1, 2020. The requirements will affect travelers’ ability to board commercial flights, access military bases and enter secure federal facilities.

REAL ID is a secure form of identification that meets federal security standards for state-issued driver licenses, driver license permits and identification cards. A REAL ID in Mississippi is indicated by a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of these IDs.

If you have a state ID issued within the last year, it’s likely to be a REAL ID, as the Mississippi Driver Service Bureau began issuing them in 2018.

“1.2 million drivers still need to become compliant with the gold star” in Mississippi, Becky Pierson, Mississippi Department of Public Safety Driver Services marketing and development director, told WLBT.

If your license doesn’t have the gold star, you can renew or get a duplicate at any Mississippi driver license station or go online. If your license isn’t within six months of its renewal date, you will need to purchase a duplicate, which costs $11.

You will not need a REAL ID to drive, vote or for most other functions, such as applying for social security or veteran’s benefits.

The federal Transportation Safety Administration does not require children under the age of 18 to provide ID when traveling within the United States. Contact the airline for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

For more information on REAL ID, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website or the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) website.


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