AUSTIN, Texas - It was a busy day at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Among those flying out Thursday morning was Chari Kelly. She had her ticket and her Texas driver's license. What Kelly didn't have was an updated ID card with new security features. "I don’t think there is ever too much security, for our nation's safety … no, it doesn't bother me that I'll have to renew my license,” said Kelly.
Thursday, airport and state officials issued a warning.
If you want to make it through the checkpoints and fly, after October 1st 2020, you'll need a new ID. "This was a recommendation from the 9-11 commission, they have many recommendations following 9/11 obviously, and one of them was to improve the identification process,” said Mike Scott with TSA.
State licenses and identification cards with new security features are marked with a gold star. It’s located on the top right corner. "Don’t wait to the last minute, that’s why we are here 13 months early to talk about it,” said Scott.
The program is called Real ID and the new card is also needed in order to gain entry on to federal property. While officials declined to provide details about the security features on the card, they did say there are two other options available. A passport or military ID.
The State has been transitioning IDs for the past three years.
16 million new IDs have been processed, but many others have not yet switched over. "There is about 4 million cards, 4 million people out there, with a card that’s not compliant today,” said Deputy Texas DPS Director Skylor Hearn.
Notifications are being mailed out, especially for those who have renewal dates after October 2020. "So what we are going to do is bug you to death, you're going to get a letter every 90 days until we see you,” said Hearn.
Going online is the quickest way to get a new real ID.
But some, like those who will need an updated picture, will have to go in person to a driver license center. State officials are ramping up for a last minute rush. "We will be hiring over 700 additional people to work in our 229 locations around the state, should have most of those on boarded by the end of this calendar year,” Hearn.
The extra security features on Texas ID cards does not include the use of radio frequency technology, like on TX TAGS or computer chips similar to what's on most bank cards. But that technology is in use on passports.