Passport vs. Real ID – Everything You Need to Know

Travel Essentials: Passport vs. Real ID for Domestic Flights

There are so many times when you are looking for accurate and correct information about travel, and your passport is the first and foremost thing for this objective. There are many travel essentials for domestic and international travel, but a passport and Real ID are both essential aspects for the flyers that they must pay attention to because they will only be allowed to enter the airport if they are carrying them. ID. However, there are many differences between passports and. Real ID is what a flyer must know before flying to any destination. If you know about the Real ID, you may also learn that this program is mandatory for Americans and is used for particular types of identifications to enter airports and some federal facilities.

Therefore, travelers who are flying on commercial aircraft will be required to present a Real ID-compliant identification document. Is a real ID equal to a passport for international travel? No, it is not, and here are the differences to know.

Passport vs. Real ID

The Real ID Act was passed in 2005 by Congress, and this ID set the standards for issuing sources of identification like your driving license. As a matter of fact, multiple forms of ID are issued by the states rather than the federal government, and The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 to "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses." Because states, rather than the federal government, issue many forms of ID, they need to be on the same page regarding security. The REAL ID Act aims to bring IDs used for high-security situations up to the same level on a national scale.

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Why You Need Real ID?

Now, the next question is, "Why do you need a Real ID?" From May 2025, all flyers who want to fly on a commercial aircraft need a Real ID. It is an identity document to pass airport security. Therefore, each state issues a Real ID, which is like a driver's license applicable to non-drivers.

Is the application for a REAL ID Easier than a Passport?

Do you need the standard application for Real IDs or not? It varies from state to state, and there is no requirement for a standard application for the Real ID. Therefore, you need to check your state rule first and then take a look at the time process. How much time is required to get a Real ID? Is it a significant question or concern? Well, a Real ID takes less time than a passport for the applicants. If passports require an average of 15 to 20 days, then the real ID requires only 7 days. You need to submit the documents to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to prove your identity and residency in the state for the Real ID application.

Travel Documents For a Trip are different from the Real ID. Once you submit the documents, you will receive mail from the authority. All the communication is processed through the mail, and there is no need to wait for the post documents through the offline process. Therefore, once you receive the mail and you are looking to get a Real ID driver's license but need to get one as well, then you need to put more effort and time into the process. You need to appear in the permit test and practice driving with a learner permit first. A passport application needs more paperwork than a Real ID application.

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Which ID is required for domestic flights?

Now, the question is, which domestic ID is required for a domestic flight? There are so many times when flyers are confused about the ID system. Hence, we can say that for domestic flights, no passport and Real ID are required. You can also carry a normal state ID. However, a Real ID is required for travel.


Therefore, there is a significant difference between a real ID and a passport. These are the travel essentials that you need to know before applying for any ID. Traveling domestically in the US is only possible with a Real ID. Hence, this ID is not valid for international travel and is only applicable for domestic travel.


1. Why is Real ID necessary for travel in the US?

To travel domestically, real ID is essential.

2. Which ID takes more time for the application process?

A passport requires more time than a Real ID.

3. Can I travel domestically without having a Real ID?


4. Can I travel internationally by using the Real ID?

No, you can't use the Real ID for international travel.