In order to travel overseas, you don’t necessarily need your Real ID, but will absolutely need a current passport.
Even if you have a valid passport, you’ll need to make sure it doesn’t expire before October 4, 2022. Most countries require that your passport be valid for six (6) months after your return date (April 4, 2022). Learn more about renewing or applying for a passport.
How Long Will It Take?
Due to the pandemic, you’ll need to allow 18 to 24 weeks (normal six) for the passport application to be processed, no later than October 7, 2021. Normally, one can use expedited service for an extra fee (around $60) to receive your passport in twelve weeks (normally two to three weeks). Private expediting services can get it done more quickly, but they charge much higher fees.
If you do not already have a passport: DO NOT WAIT! Sometimes it can take several months to get this once you get all the required documents turned in.
Due to the criticality of these documents, photocopy the information page of your passport and the visa page(s) for your destination(s). Pack them separately from your passport.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to May 3, 2023. From that point forward, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or state-issued enhanced driver’s license in order to fly in the United States.
You can get your REAL ID at a local BMV. More information can be found on the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) site. Even though it won’t be required for this trip, you may find it convenient to take care of it while you’re updating your documents.