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Get your Real ID or be left behind

The last thing you want or need is to get stuck at the airport without required up-to-date identification.

On May 3, 2023, every adult age 18 and up flying within the U.S. must present a Real ID Card, passport, DHS Trusted Traveler Card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST) or other federally approved ID.

If you plan to fly anywhere after May 2, 2023 know that the federally mandated Real ID Act will be enforced and a standard driver license or ID card will no longer be accepted for domestic flights.

The state of Oregon began issuing Real ID driver’s licenses and ID cards last year. It’s predicted there will be a rush and delays before the May 3, 2023 deadline. You must apply in person at the DMV, and the cost is $30 plus the regular license renewal fee of $40. In addition to the fees, you must present multiple official documents.

May 3 is the deadline to meet Homeland Security requirements for air travel DMV-REQUIRED DOCUMENTS FOR REAL ID:

  • Proof of identity and lawful status

  • Proof of social security number

  • Two proofs of current physical address

  • Proof of legal name changes

Get a passport instead

The easiest way to avoid the chaos is to obtain or renew your passports. Everyone is required to have a valid passport book (not card) for travel outside of the U.S. and its territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. The current cost is $165 for ages 16 and over (valid for 10 years) and $135 for under age 16 (valid for 5 years). Both parents are required to be present when applying for a passport for a minor.

During the pandemic, passport processing times were extremely long and many people had to cancel trips because they could not obtain passports in time. Currently it takes eight to eleven weeks to receive a passport. You can pay an extra $60 per person to have your passport expedited which should take five to seven weeks. The U.S. government recently piloted an online renewal program; check for updates.

TSA PreCheck

The Eugene Airport’s renovation in 2018 included many changes to make the flying experience better for everyone. One big improvement is the dedicated TSA PreCheck screening line. The program lets pre-approved citizens breeze through airport checkpoints without removing shoes, laptops or liquids at more than 200 airports in the U.S. for domestic and international travel.

The cost is $85 per person for a five-year membership. Children age 12 and under can join their parents in the PreCheck line for no cost. There is now an IdentoGo enrollment office in downtown Eugene to make it easy to participate in the PreCheck program. Please note that TSA PreCheck does not qualify as Real ID.

Global entry

If you plan to travel outside of the U.S. over the next five years, it is worthwhile to apply for the Global Entry program instead of TSA PreCheck. The cost is $100 for five years of Global Entry and it includes TSA PreCheck. Global Entry membership and fees are required for all ages. To apply for Global Entry, you must have a valid passport, create a Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) account, complete an application, pay the $100 fee and attend an in-person interview at the office in Portland. The entire process could take a few months, so begin early.

As a parent you know that being prepared can help minimize hassles and make things run smoother. When traveling this is especially important. Taking the time to get passports along with TSA PreCheck or Global Entry for your family now can make flying so much easier for future years.

Websites for the latest information

Rules change often so check the following sites for up-to-date info.

Real ID:

Trusted Traveler Programs:


Meet Vacation MOM Vacation MOM is brought to you in partnership with Eugene Airport

Donnita Bassinger has been a travel agent for three decades, and she enjoys sending families on vacations around the world. She is mom to three boys and lives in Eugene with her husband. Tropical vacations are her specialty and she would love to help you plan a great vacation.

Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 or on facebook @VacationMOM


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