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'Real ID' delayed again, won't be mandatory for Arizona travelers until 2025

'Real ID' delayed again, won't be mandatory for Arizona travelers until 2025

State is among those slow to implement secure drivers licenses; TSA security meaure was supposed to be in effect in 2008

  • ADOT

The deadline for travelers to get their Arizona Travel IDs has once again been delayed, this time until May 7, 2025, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday. After that date, travelers will need Travel IDs, also known as Real IDs, to get past TSA security checkpoints at airports throughout the U.S.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 was originally meant to go into effect in 2008 to make sure travelers have a federally compliant ID for domestic air travel, but that deadline has since been pushed back twice, including once for COVID.

Arizona is among the states that has been slow to fully implement the verified ID system, offering it as an option rather than a standard feature of drivers licenses and identification cards after right-wing objections blocked the Bush-era program.

The law was part of the response to security concerns about terrorism, such as the Patriot Act, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

People can walk-in or schedule an appointment online with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department to get their Travel IDs. They'll need to create an AZ MVD NOW account if they haven't already. 

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, anyone applying for a Real ID should make sure to bring:

  • Federally issued proof of identity such as a birth certificate or U.S. passport
  • Their Social Security number, but just the number, not the card
  • Two documents proving Arizona residency such as rental or bank statements or credit card or cell phone bills in their name with their current Arizona address

Travel IDs come with a gold star printed onto the upper right hand corner of driver’s licenses or identification cards. Any Arizona resident can apply to receive one.

Before this latest delay, the effective date for the IDs was set to be May 3, 2023. ADOT “encourages people to consider getting the Arizona Travel ID to avoid delays or other travel issues at TSA checkpoints once this takes effect,” according to a press release.

Travelers can also use their passports or passport cards at airport security checkpoints if they don’t have Travel IDs.

In addition to airports, security at other locations such as some train stations and federal courthouses will eventually require people to show identification that meets the standards of the federal program.

Bennito L. Kelty is’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.

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9-11, adot, dhs, patriot act, real id, terrorism, tsa

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