There you are - it's October 1st, 2020. You're at Capital Region International Airport. This is it - you're headed to a once in a lifetime trip to Hawaii, where you'll scuba dive and spear-fish by day and go clubbing by night with supermodels you'll meet on the beach. You walk up to security and show them your boarding pass and ID. "Ha!", you say to yourself, "I don't need no stinkin' expensive passport for Hawaii!" They check your boarding pass and then your driver's license.

And ask you to "step to the side, please."

Because you don't have a Michigan issued "Real ID," which you'll need to board any airline flight starting 10/1/2020 - you, my friend, are up a creek. You'll be spending your vacation catching bluegills at Sleepy Hollow State Park, while I walk by with my dog and say, "Catchin' anything?" And stand there for a little too long.

You have been warned. (Thank you, yes - that was an emotional story, was it not?) According to, you have one year from today to get right with the law. If you have a passport, you're good to go. And you may already have a Real ID card and just don't know it. Discreetly check it now. I'll wait. It should have a white star in a gold circle in the top right-hand corner or an American flag near your photo on an "enhanced" card.

Do I have one? No. And I was so horrified by the above short story, I'll be getting one as soon as possible.


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