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You can use your Global Entry card as a Real ID

Jan. 31, 2020
4 min read
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It's 2020, which means the Real ID Act will be going into effect in October.

As of that month, if you do not have an ID that complies with the Real ID requirements, you will not be able to fly. The purpose of this change is to set clearer standards for government-issued photo ID. The law established a uniform set of security standards for driver’s licenses and other government-issued ID cards. Most importantly, it prohibits government agencies from accepting identification that does not meet the new standards. One of the goals was to add an extra layer of security to commercial aviation by making it more difficult for people to obtain false documents and use them to board airplanes.

Related: Everything you need to know about getting a Real ID

To check if you have a Real ID, look for a star or flag in the upper right-hand corner of your ID. If there's no special indicator like the star or flag, it's not compliant. If you haven't gotten a new state ID in the past year or so, you probably don't have a Real ID.

There are a few reasons why you may be hesitant to get one. If your current ID doesn't expire for a few more years, you may not want to pay the fee to get a new one. You also might want to avoid the long wait times that typically come with a visit to the DMV.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can avoid a trip to the DMV without risking your flight privileges after September 2020

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Global Entry card

Global Entry cards meet all the requirements for a Real ID, so if you don't want to spend the time getting a new state ID and have Global Entry, you're in the clear.

The membership costs $100 and is valid for five years. However, many travel rewards cards credit cardholders for the application fee so be sure to take advantage of that perk if you haven't already. Global Entry routes travelers through expedited screening for international travel and includes TSA PreCheck for domestic flights.

Further reading: Things to know before getting Global Entry

Passport or Passport card

You can also use your passport or passport card as a Real ID. For those unfamiliar with the passport card, they require a separate application and an additional fee. However, they can be especially handy since they are regular ID size. Although, it is only a valid form of ID for travel within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean and Bermuda.

Beyond those two common forms of identification for frequent travelers, you're also in the clear if you have any of the following IDs:

  • Permanent resident card
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID
  • Border crossing card
  • State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

Another reason to carry your Global Entry card is if you're traveling to and within Canada. Canada doesn't have TSA PreCheck, however, they have a similar trusted traveler program that grants Global Entry cardholders direct access to many airport security screening checkpoints across the country. Next time you're traveling in Canada, look for the Trusted Traveller line sign. Here you will be able to,

However, Canada requires all travelers to remove laptops trusted traveler or not.

Bottom line

If your state-issued ID is expiring soon anyway, it's better to just get a new ID now. However, it can be a hassle. If you have a Global Entry card or a passport, you're in the clear — just remember to bring them with you every time you travel both domestically and internationally.

Featured image by My Global Entry card arrived within one week of approval, with its own protective storage sleeve.

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How we chose these cards

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023