Way back in 2005, the U.S. Congress passed the REAL ID Act based on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to, “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The idea behind the recommendation, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), was to "establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane." In layman's terms, it's an effort to keep us safer while when traveling, and doing what we can to prevent something like September 11th from ever happening again.

While October 1st is still several months away, if you plans booked to fly any time after that, say a trip to Disney World over Christmas Break, you'll want to make sure your ID is ready to go now.

The good news is checking to see if you're good to go is easy. Take out your ID and look in the upper-right corner. Is there a star inside a circle there like mine?

(Ryan O'Bryan)

If so, you're all set. If not, you'll need to head to your closest license branch to get one, just like you would if your license was set to expire. Before you make the trip, know that there is specific documentation you'll need to take with you. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website lists exactly what those documents are.

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[Source: U.S. TSA / Indiana BMV]