‘Don’t be that guy.’ NC and SC Real ID deadline a year away

‘Don’t be that guy.’ NC and SC Real ID deadline a year away

NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — After years of delays in the deadline for people to get a real ID, we’re now less than a year away from the launch.

Come May 7, 2025, people will need the identification to fly or enter federal buildings. Officials gave Carolinians a ‘nudge’ Thursday at Charlotte Douglas to get this task taken care of.

“Don’t be that guy that can’t get into a federal building because you were stupid. Did I use that word? Yep,” said South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. “Right now, procrastination is 9/10 of the problems that you’re running into.”

Right now, in South Carolina, about 57% of the population has a real ID, and in North Carolina, that number is about 46%. 

“This is what the paper will look like that a TDC officer will tear off and give to the passenger,” said Transportation Security Administration Federal Security Director Beth Walker as she held up an informational sheet of paper.
In less than a year, a real ID, passport, Department of Defense ID or global entry card will be the only ID options for air travelers, and people entering most federal buildings. Real IDs have the star in the upper right-hand corner.


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Until then, those who don’t have one will get this friendly reminder at the airport, which includes a QR code that will direct you to the TSA website.

“Our research shows that about 50% of North Carolinians need the real I.D.,” said NC DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, “and we are very quickly approaching what our threshold is.”

This is all been a long time coming. Real IDs have been available for six years, but the deadline has changed. Queen City News’ own archives on Real ID from 2019 read ‘time is running out’ and ‘the clock is ticking!’ In 2020, we said ‘it will be here before you know it!’

But then COVID happened, and there have been multiple delays since.

Charlotte Douglas averages 32,000 originating passengers daily, and officials worry that failures to obtain a real ID could lead to further delays at TSA checkpoints.

“If you get handed one of these, don’t be that guy,” said Shwedo. “Don’t be that guy that can’t fly on seven May.”

For more information on how to get a Real ID in North Carolina, head here. For information from the TSA website, click here.

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