Real ID Compliant Identification Required For 2019-2020 Cruises

Real ID Compliant Identification Required For 2020 Cruises
Real ID Compliant Identification Required For 2020 Cruises
Real ID - Passport
Real ID – Passport

Real ID Compliant Identification Required For 2019-2020 Cruises – Beginning October 1, 2020, travelers boarding domestic commercial flights, entering a military base, or using their ID for other federal purposes will need to present a Real ID-compliant (see video below) driver’s license or state ID card.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun verbally advising travelers who use identification that is not Real ID-compliant that they will not be able to use it to fly beginning October 1, 2020. This will also apply to cruises.

The Real ID Act of 2005, was an Act of Congress that modifies U.S. federal law pertaining to security, authentication, and issuance procedure standards for driver’s licenses and identity documents, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism. The Real ID Act of 2005 was signed into law by President George W. Bush on May 11, 2005.

The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.

While non-compliant licenses or IDs won’t be accepted, people can present other federally compliant documents, such as a passport, passport card, or military ID for taking flights and other federal uses.

Americans who don’t wish to obtain a Real ID license or state identification may apply for what’s called a “federal non-compliant” driver’s license or ID card. The card will be marked with the words “federal limits apply.” If you don’t have one of the compliant IDs, either a REAL ID or one of the alternatives, like a passport, you’re actually gonna be turned away at the checkpoint and you’re not going to be allowed to board your flight.

As mentioned in a recent article, not all counties will accept anything other than a passport when calling at a cruise port.  In Martinique, citizens of the United States and Canada may enter without a visa for a stay up to three months, however, a valid passport is required.

Why You Need Real ID – Expect Unexpected Situations

Alaskan Cruise Off Canada Coast
Alaskan Cruise Off Canada Coast

Scenario 1:  You live in Florida and will drive to the port you are debarking from.  Do you need a Real Id? Here’s the issue, Without Real ID you will not be able to take any excursions during your cruise. No problem, you are not booking any excursions. However, if the ship becomes disabled during the cruise and the cruise is canceled between ports, they will disembark all passengers and they will fly everyone home. What are the odds? See the article resources below.

Scenario 2: You live in a state with northeast cruise ports such as New Jersey or New York and are sailing to Bermuda with no other port calls. Bermuda is known as an extended stay port, which MAY mean an over-night call. You are going to want to go into port since it’s only your port call. Bermuda has a strict policy on marijuana, it’s prohibited on the island. You have a medical marijuana card, so you are good.  No.  If the housekeeping staff find the dreaded Mary Jane anywhere in your cabin, security will be called and you will be arrested, the marijuana card is only good in the state you reside within and NEVER is accepted in another country. Need I say More? See the article resources below.

Scenario 3: You are cruising with your minor children, one falls on the cruise ship stairs and hits their head. The captain makes the call for you to be seen at the hospital in port and you are medically disembarked though you have no Real ID. Once at the hospital the doctors decide the child needs more tests to rule out more serious injuries. The ship leaves port without your family. Now, you will need to fly home at some point in time. Everyone in your party will have to prove American citizenship with a Real ID or a passport. See the article resources below.

Scenario 4:  As newlyweds, you embark on a honeymoon cruise.  You have your passport, but it has your maiden name on it. It will be useless for proving you are an American.  You NEED Real ID or a new passport before your cruise.

Scenario 5:  You will be embarking from Seattle, Washington for an Alaskan cruise. These are both cruise ports in the U.S., do you need Real ID? Many Alaskan cruises have one or more port calls in Canada, either at Vancouver Island, or Vancouver. In any case, the Alaskan itinerary will have the ship sailing the Inside Passage, where there are many hours of possible reasons for a medevac off the coast of Canada.

British Columbia’s portion of the route has up to 25,000 miles (40,000 km) of coastline. It includes the narrow, protected Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland, the Johnstone Strait and Discovery Passage between Vancouver Island and the mainland, as well as a short stretch along the wider and more exposed Hecate Strait near the Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands). This section includes a series of channels and straits, from south to north: Fisher Channel, Lama Passage, Seaforth Channel, Milbanke Sound, Finlayson Channel, Sarah Passage, Tolmie Channel, Princess Royal Channel (includes Graham Reach and Fraser Reach), McKay Reach, Wright Sound, Grenville Channel, Arthur Passage, and Chatham Sound.

Scenario 6:  With the kids all grown and away from home, you decide to take the bucket list cruise of your dreams. Everything was amazing until you began vomiting right after supper with no other symptoms presenting. You go the ship infirmary and it’s possible you have an esophageal rupture and surgery will be required. You are medically disembarked. If not this, there are literally thousands of ‘sudden onset’ symptoms which ‘could’ be life-threatening. The Captain will make the call and before you know it,  your life has taken an unexpected turn. This is why you need a Real ID. Expect the unexpected.

Article Resources: 

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Video: Officials give one-year warning for Real ID