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‘We just want people to be planning ahead:’ Everything you need for a Real ID

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MILWAUKEE — A big change is coming to airport checkpoints. Starting in October 2020, passengers will need a Real ID or an active passport to clear an airport's TSA checkpoint and board a flight.

At Mitchell International, there are warnings the change is coming. Frank Pipia of Homeland security says Wisconsin has offered Real ID since 2013.

"There shouldn't be any surprises I hope," Pipia said. "If you already have one, there will be a star in the upper right-hand corner of your license. If you don't have a star, you don't have a Real ID."

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission. The goal is to improve airport security by setting minimum identity standards for drivers licenses.

Kristina Boardman, the Wisconsin DMW Administrator, says getting a Real ID means pulling a few extra documents.

"We just want people to be planning ahead," Boardman said. "The last thing we want is for people to come in and not have everything and then have to come back."

Anyone 18 or older needs a Real ID. However, getting one is a bit more complicated than renewing a license.

Contact 6's Jenna Sachs applied for her own Real ID to see how the process worked. Her Real ID required her taking a new picture. Also, she had to bring extra documentation including her birth certificate, social security card, and Wisconsin driver's license. Also, due to a name change after getting married, she needed to bring her marriage certificate.

Contact 6's Jenna Sachs applied for her own Real ID to see how the process works.

For a complete list of approved documentation, CLICK HERE.

In all, it took Sachs about 45 minutes to complete the process. However, if she made an appointment online it may have gone quicker.

Her Real ID arrived within a week.

The DMV estimates 63% of Wisconsin cardholders don't have a Real ID.

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