U.S. Passport Domestic Travel Guide
If you have a US passport, you may want to know if you need this document to travel within the country. These laws are updated occasionally, which means you must be aware of new passport requirements before you get on an airplane. In past years, most individuals could fly across the United States and its territories without needing to apply for a passport first. However, this is set to change soon.
The following sections provide passport information to travelers who want to know if they need these documents to fly. Furthermore, the information below also explains the differences between the REAL ID vs passport. Individuals who research domestic travel requirements before they fly can help ensure they make it through airport security with no challenges.
Do you need a passport to travel within the US?
Depending on where you live, you may need a US passport to travel within the country. However, this is determined based on which state issued your driver’s license. The REAL ID Act changed the rules regarding whether or not your passport is sufficient identification for a domestic flight. While there are various REAL ID compliant states, not all meet these requirements.
If you live in one of these states, you may need to bring your travel passport for domestic flights. Examples of states within the United States that may be affected include:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Puerto Rico
What do I do if my driver’s license is not Real ID compliant?
If applicants do not have a REAL ID driver’s license, they may need to use their passports to travel domestically. This is true for individuals who do not have compliant licenses by October 2020. While these individuals are not exactly required to use a US passport card or book to board a domestic plane, they must use a similar document to fly within the country. However, individuals who do not have federal passport IDs may be able to fly with one of the following documents:
- Department of Homeland Security (DHS) trusted traveler cards
- Border crossing cards
- Passports issued by foreign governments
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credentials