BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Marylanders have a little over a year to get their REAL IDs.

By Oct. 1, 2020, Maryland residents must have the federally mandated identification to board a plane or gain access to any federal facility.

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Transportation officials at BWI Airport announced a one-year countdown on Monday for Marylanders to get a federally mandated REAL ID.

So what’s the difference between a REAL ID and a regular license?

“The difference is the REAL ID license will have the REAL ID star on there. The other important thing to know is that you must have documents on file with us so it’s not just enough to have the license. You have to make sure those documents are on file.” said MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer.

That includes a birth certificate, social security card, and 2 proofs of Maryland residency.

“Being that we have new people coming into our country, we’ve been doing it for the longest time making sure all our paperwork is right. Hey, you have to jump on board and do the same thing,” Kevin Pringle said.

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“Ugh. Terrible! There’s got to be an easier way!” William Smuck disagreed.

Maryland has nearly a million people without a REAL ID. With the October 1, 2020, date looming, it’s something BWI Marshall Executive Director Ricky Smith said is important for the evolution of security.

“There is now an upgraded level of screening to ensure people are getting into sensitive facilities like federal facilities or an aircraft or certain parts of the airport that they’ve successfully completed at heightened or upgraded level of screening,” Smith said.

As for the price, if you come in during your normal renewal time, the REAL ID is free.

Officials suggest you schedule an appointment for getting a REAL ID.

Go to their website to sign up. That way you’ll be seen within 15 minutes.

To be considered REAL ID compliant, you must have the required documents on file with the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA).

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To find out if you are Real ID compliant, visit the REAL ID Lookup Tool.