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New Deadline for Arizona Travel Credential

The deadline for the Arizona Travel Credential has been extended for the second time in the last year. On April 27, 2021 Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Secretary of Homeland Security, announced that the Department of Homeland Security is extending the deadline for compliance with the REAL ID requirements to May 3, 2023. This announcement follows the previous deadline extension by DHS from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021. This extension is due to continued complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. ADOT announced the extension shortly after the Department of Homeland Security.

What is the Travel Credential?

The Travel Credential, issued as either a driver license or identification card, complies with the security standards set forth by the REAL ID Act of 2005. The REAL ID Act sets up minimum standards for acceptable identification required to enter federally-controlled spaces such as airport security, military bases, etc. These standards are aimed at verifying that a person is who they say they are before they are allowed access to these areas.

Arizona offers two options for residents when it comes to driver licenses and ID cards. The first is a Standard driver license or ID, which many Arizona residents currently possess. The Standard credential does not meet the federal minimum security standards. While these credentials are still valid for driving or identification after May 3, 2023 you will not be able to board a domestic flight or enter federally-controlled areas, such as military bases and federal courthouses, without a compliant form of identification. 

The voluntary Travel Credential meets the federal security requirements and includes a gold circle with a star cutout in the top right corner. In Arizona it is good for 8 years from the date of issuance or until you turn 65, whichever time period is shorter. Once you reach age 65, the Travel Credential is good for 5 years from the date of issuance.

Residents who choose not to obtain a Travel Credential prior to May 3, 2023 will still be able to board domestic flights or access other federal-controlled areas with an alternative form of identification like a U.S. Passport.

What Does This Mean for Arizona Residents?

The latest extension means that Arizona’s residents will have more time to gather the necessary documents and visit an MVD or Authorized Third Party location, like FooteWork, to obtain their Travel Credential. These documents include a Primary Document, such as a U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, or Permanent Resident card, among others; and 2 documents to prove your physical Arizona address, such as a utility bill or bank statement. Arizona does not require your Social Security Card to be provided, but your Social Security number must be listed on your application. A full list of accepted documents can be found here.

Travel Credentials can be issued at our Prescott, Prescott Valley, Cottonwood, and – coming soon! – Flagstaff locations. Come in and see us or book an appointment here.

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