Does REAL ID Replace Passport for International Travel?


For those who may be wondering if they can use their REAL ID for international travel instead of their passport, the answer is, unfortunately, no.

The REAL ID was created to standardize identification cards within the United States for domestic purposes only. Its main purpose was to enhance the security of U.S. citizens by making sure identification cards were issued to individuals who proved their identity, lawful status, and state of residence.

Does REAL ID Replace Passport for International Travel?

Suppose you’re one of the millions of Americans planning an international trip in the near future. In that case, you may be wondering if your REAL ID driver’s license will suffice as a form of identification. While a REAL ID is a legally accepted form of identification within the United States, it does not replace the need for a valid passport for international travel.

What is the Difference Between a Passport Card and a REAL ID?

This is because passports are regulated at a federal level, whereas REAL IDs are only enforceable within individual states. If you’re planning a trip abroad, it’s important to make sure your passport is up-to-date and valid.

Professional travel experts recommend checking the expiration date of your passport at least six months before your trip to avoid any unexpected delays or denied entry at your destination. So while REAL IDs are a great form of identification to have, they aren’t a replacement for a passport when it comes to international travel.