With delayed and shifting requirements, know what you need to fly – and ways to make traveling smoother for you and your family.
Get ready for Real ID…for real this time
The pandemic delayed the first rollout, but now it’s back on track. 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. 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.
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 (see sidebar).
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 8 to 11 weeks to receive a passport. You can pay an extra $60 per person to have your passport expedited which should take 5 to 7 weeks. The good news is that the U.S. government recently announced plans to process passport renewals online; check travel.state.gov for updates.
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 with- out 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.
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.
Real ID documentation requirements
Proof of identity and lawful status
Proof of social security number
Two proofs of current physical address
Proof of legal name changes
Websites for the latest information
Rules change often so check the following sites for up-to-date info.
Real ID: tsa.gov/real-id
Trusted Traveler Programs: ttp.cbp.dhs.gov
Passport Info: travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports
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. She is the owner of VIP Vacations, Inc. and she is happy to chat with you about your travel plans.
Contact Donnita at 541-913-5272 or on facebook @VacationMOM