Note: This blog has been updated to reflect new deadlines. It is available at https://prepass.com/2021/06/21/updated-whitepaper-truckers-real-id-upcoming-license-deadlines/
Today’s professional driver works in a world where verified identification and background check security are increasingly required. A REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or an EDL (enhanced driver’s license), coupled with a TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) card, and the knowledge and patience to meet government security requirements, are now tools of the trade for truck drivers.
So, what happened to the day when a truck driver could get a CDL and use that commercial driver’s license to earn a living on the nation’s highways? That day is still here — though obtaining that CDL will require documented training beginning next year. Also, where you can travel with a standard state driver’s license has become more complicated.
If your business takes you across international borders into Canada or Mexico, if you pick up or deliver at ports, and particularly if you serve secure government or military facilities, you will want and need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license (or EDL) and a TWIC card.
PrePass offers a guide to the ins and outs of these heightened identification and security credentials. In particular, pay close attention to the discussion of REAL ID. All states and U.S. territories face an October 1, 2021 deadline to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses, after which federal agencies may only accept REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards for official purposes.
States are very busy coming into compliance with REAL ID, and obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license does require an in-person visit to your state driver licensing agency. Download the PrePass REAL ID whitepaper for an overview of the documents you must provide and make your plans now. October 2021 will be here sooner than you think.
Remember, even if you do not currently enter government or military facilities as a professional driver and even if ports are not among your current destinations, some day they may be. You will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, and at the ports a TWIC, or else your future business opportunities will be reduced. Military facilities may require even more advance prep from you – download the PrePass whitepaper for details.
And when you step down out of the cab and head to the airport to fly off for your mother’s birthday celebration, you will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, passport or other Transportation Security Administration-accepted credential to clear security. The days of simply showing a standard state driver’s license end October 1, 2021.
Why the increased ID and security requirements? On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists who had taken advantage of weaknesses in state driver license procedures to obtain phony documents. The result was four hijacked planes and the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history. Congress passed the REAL ID Act to help verify identification and guard against the forgery of licenses.
You are a professional in your driving. The PrePass REAL ID whitepaper shows you when and how to obtain and use the verified identification and security credentials your world now requires. Download now.