The Real Deal with Real IDs
We've known for a while now that Real IDs were going to be standard practice, but do you really need one now?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been reminding travelers that they need their Real ID by October 2020 in order to fly anywhere, ever. But do you have to run right out and get one?
Chances are no.
For most people, your Massachusetts license can become a Real ID the next time you renew it.
You'll need to bring additional documentation and actually go to the RMV to do it, but your Real ID and license can be one and the same.
And though the Real ID will become necessary for traveling by plane anywhere, you can also use your passport at the airport if you don't have a Real ID yet.
That does mean getting a passport for domestic flights state-to-state, but if you have one already and don't want to go out of your way for a Real ID yet, the passport works too.
Real IDs are currently an option for all Massachusetts residents. And you will need one to board a plane or enter any federal building after October 1, 2020.
That gives you a year either way before you really need to decide on the Real ID or not.
Personally I'd probably wait until the next time I had to renew my license whether that happens by October 2020 or not.
I can't remember the last time I actually went to the RMV instead of just renewing at AAA, so I definitely don't want to make an extra trip over there that I didn't need.
Then again, I barely travel, so I know I can wait.