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Visit florida ad campaign running nationwide invites people to enjoy vacation freedom.

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A new Visit Florida ad campaign airing in 48 states through June is inviting people to enjoy the kind of vacation freedom available in few other states.

The $7 million ad campaign from Visit Florida will air through June.

A new survey shows 33% of people are letting COVID-19 affect their travel plans, which is the lowest since the pandemic began and 87% plan to vacation in the next six months.

The survey also shows 55% feel safe traveling, 52% feel safe dining and shopping, and 51% support welcoming visitors to their communities.

"I think they are seeing the perfect combination of factors that is influencing their decisions to travel to Florida, so we're incredibly optimistic about the number of people coming to Florida," said Visit Florida CEO Dana Young.

One of the best indicators that tourism is coming back to Central Florida, is the traffic on International Drive. It's not just Florida license plates, but those from Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas.

Visit Orlando

"Last week was probably our best week ever since COVID-19 hit," said John Stine, who is with the company that owns the Orlando StarFlyer.

Stine said spring break is generating healthy business, keeping workers on the job and expectations for a summer rebound are strong.

"I think once we get back into Memorial Day, you know, summer starts, I think we're going to see more pent up demand more people wanting to come out and do things like what we offer here in Central Florida," Stine said.

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Visit Florida commercials

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What kind of company is visit florida .

Visit Florida is a tourism marketing corporation that operates in the state of Florida, USA. The company's main role is to promote the Sunshine State as a top travel destination through marketing campaigns and partnerships with businesses in the tourism industry.

Throughout the year, Visit Florida organizes a variety of events and activities that showcase the state's beauty, culture, and attractions. For example, the company sponsors sporting events, such as NASCAR races and fishing tournaments, and hosts cultural festivals and trade shows.

Visit Florida also collaborates with a wide range of businesses in the tourism industry, including hotels, restaurants, and theme parks, to offer attractive packaging and deals to potential tourists. The company's partnerships help to create a vibrant and diverse tourism industry that benefits both visitors and locals.

Additionally, Visit Florida provides resources and support to individuals and companies in the tourism industry to help them grow their businesses. This includes offering professional development opportunities, market research, and assistance with marketing and advertising.

During a company visit to Visit Florida, visitors can expect to learn about the tourism industry in Florida, the company's marketing strategies, and the services that Visit Florida provides to support the industry. Visitors can also participate in various events and activities while exploring the beautiful state of Florida, including beaches, nature reserves, theme parks, and more.

In conclusion, Visit Florida plays a crucial role in promoting Florida's tourism industry by offering attractive packages and deals, collaborating with businesses, and providing valuable support to the industry. A visit to this dynamic company provides fascinating insights into the workings of the tourism industry and offers an excellent opportunity to explore the beautiful state of Florida.

TV commercials Visit Florida

Florida Historic Golf Trail TV Commercial Featuring Arnold Palmer created for Visit Florida

Florida Historic Golf Trail TV Commercial Featuring Arnold Palmer

Title: Teeing Up History: The Florida Historic Golf Trail TV Commercial Featuring Arnold PalmerIntroduction:Unleash your imagination and embark on a journey through time as we delve into the captivating world of golf and history in the sunshine state. In this exhilarating TV commercial, we bring to...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Gilchrist Springs: Paddle Boarding' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Gilchrist Springs: Paddle Boarding

As an AI writing assistant, I don't have access to real-time TV spots or advertisements. However, I can create a fictional description of a Visit Florida TV spot featuring Gilchrist Springs and paddle boarding. Here's an imaginative take on what the TV spot could be like:: "Escape to the pristine wa...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Here in Greater Miami' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Here in Greater Miami

Title: Here in Greater Miami: A Visit to Florida's Dynamic ParadiseIntroduction:Welcome to the vibrant world of Greater Miami, where sun-kissed beaches meet a thriving cityscape, and cultural diversity flourishes. In this TV spot, Visit Florida takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the stunning...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Here in Panama City' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Here in Panama City

The Visit Florida TV spot 'Here in Panama City' is a captivating representation of the beauty and diversity of Florida's coastline. The spot begins with an aerial view of Panama City's crystal-clear waters, tranquil beaches, and picturesque landscape, all invitingly serene and refreshingly soothing....

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Here' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Here

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Here,' is a stunning visual depiction of the beauty and diversity of the state of Florida. The 30-second advertisement showcases the state's pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush forests, coupled with its dynamic city life and vibrant culture. The TV spot begins wi...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'If You Were Here: Ft. Lauderdale' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - If You Were Here: Ft. Lauderdale

The Visit Florida TV Spot, 'If You Were Here: Ft. Lauderdale,' is an advertisement designed to attract tourists to the beautiful city of Ft. Lauderdale in Florida. When you first lay eyes on this ad, you can tell it is stunning by the way it is shot. The camera deviates smoothly from one scene to th...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'The Warmer Side of Winter' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - The Warmer Side of Winter

Title: "The Warmer Side of Winter: Discover the Magic of Florida"Introduction:Step into a world where winter is transformed into an enchanting journey full of sunshine, excitement, and unforgettable memories. In the Visit Florida TV spot, 'The Warmer Side of Winter,' we invite you to explore the vib...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Visit Here: Amelia Island' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Visit Here: Amelia Island

Title: Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Visit Here: Amelia Island'Introduction:Welcome to the sunny shores of Amelia Island, Florida, where adventure and relaxation blend seamlessly. In this Visit Florida TV spot, we invite you to join us on a journey to this charming island paradise. With pristine beaches,...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Visit Here' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Visit Here

The Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Visit Here' is a captivating advertisement that captures the beauty and allure of Florida. The commercial showcases the various attractions that the state has to offer, from its sandy beaches to its lush green forests, making it an ideal tourist destination for families a...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'What If You Were Here: Fort Myers' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - What If You Were Here: Fort Myers

The Visit Florida TV Spot "What If You Were Here: Fort Myers" is a captivating advertisement that showcases the beauty and allure of Fort Myers, Florida. The advertisement is part of a campaign aimed at encouraging more tourists to visit Florida and explore its hidden treasures.The TV Spot begins wi...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'What if You Were Here?' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - What if You Were Here?

Title: Visit Florida TV Spot: 'What if You Were Here?'Opening shot:The camera pans over breathtaking aerial views of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. The vibrant colors and warm sunshine create an inviting atmosphere that immediately draws viewers in.Voiceover:Imagine a place where palm tre...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Where You Escape: Palm Beaches' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Where You Escape: Palm Beaches

Visit Florida's TV spot "Where You Escape: Palm Beaches" takes viewers on a journey to the vibrant and luxurious destination of Palm Beaches. The spot showcases the region's stunning natural beauty, cultural attractions, and world-class amenities that make it an ideal escape for travelers of all kin...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Where You Escape: Universal Studios, Disney World and SeaWorld' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Where You Escape: Universal Studios, Disney World and SeaWorld

The Visit Florida TV spot, titled 'Where You Escape: Universal Studios, Disney World and SeaWorld', is a captivating and enticing advertisement that showcases some of the most popular attractions in Florida. This advertisement invites travelers from around the world to escape to sunny Florida and ex...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Where You Explore' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Where You Explore

The Visit Florida TV spot, 'Where You Explore,' is a visually stunning advertisement that showcases the breathtaking beauty and incredible diversity of Florida's natural landscapes and attractions. Set to an inspiring and uplifting soundtrack, this ad highlights everything that Florida has to offer,...

Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Where You Need To Be' created for Visit Florida

Tv spot - Where You Need To Be

Title: Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Where You Need To Be'Introduction:In the bustling world of travel and tourism, destinations often strive to capture the essence of their unique offerings in a captivating way. The Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Where You Need To Be,' is an embodiment of this pursuit, captivat...

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Visit Orlando Launches 1st Full-Scale Campaign to Inspire Southeast Visitors to Orlando

Includes first destination tv ads since start of pandemic.

Visit Orlando launched its first full-scale marketing campaign since the start of the pandemic this month, targeting U.S. residents in the Southeast for spring and summer travel to Orlando.

The campaign marks the first time since last March the destination marketing organization has run television advertising promoting travel to Orlando, and the first time since March it has run advertising to reach consumers outside the state of Florida. (Prior marketing efforts focused within the state of Florida.)

“This new campaign weaves both inspiration and education to help travelers who are ready to pack their bags and come now, as well as those just starting to research future travel,” said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. “It’s critical that we connect with audiences that are currently making travel plans to ensure our share of the market and showcase the innovative safety measures implemented throughout Orlando.”

“The Wonder Remains” campaign highlights the experiences Orlando is most known for plus new, unexpected adventures. It pairs compelling imagery of Orlando’s world-famous theme parks, attractions, elaborate resorts and outdoor experiences with essential information on safety measures throughout the destination, as consumers are searching for more in-depth information in advance.  Affordability is also a key focus, as consumers can now find over 100 deals on the website VisitOrlando.com . This includes deals open to all visitors, as well as special programs for Florida residents and healthcare workers.

“The Central Florida region has gone above and beyond to create a safe and sanitized guest experience,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “I believe this campaign will reach individuals who are prepared to travel to a well-prepared destination for much needed recreation.”

Recovery of the local tourism industry is vital to the economic health of the Orlando region and its residents, as tourism supports 41 percent of the workforce and generates an average $75.2 billion in economic impact. In addition, visitor spending directly impacts state and local revenues and tourism generates at least half of all state sales tax collections in Orange County. While employment in the leisure and hospitality industry has shown recent growth, it remains down 89,000 jobs from pre-pandemic levels, and revenue from visitors staying overnight, known as the Tourism Development Tax, are less than half the level of the prior year. And in addition to tourism marketing, this revenue also provides money for the region's sports, arts and public venues.

About Visit Orlando

Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, Visit Orlando represents over 1,100 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.

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Florida Tourism Produces Original Amazon Prime Series as Marketing Goes Hollywood

Lebawit Lily Girma, Skift

May 17th, 2021 at 8:30 AM EDT

Florida's tourism marketers are going the extra mile to beat the competition this summer: co-producing and launching an original series set in St. Pete-Clearwater and launching on Amazon Prime Video. It's a whole new tourism marketing frontier. Action!

When travel and the world shut down in 2020, digital consumption accelerated at a global level — platforms such as Netflix and Disney+ experienced up to 12 percent in growth in 2020 , and internet usage spiked as much as 70 percent . It’s no surprise that the lines between work and home blurring even further drove viewership and subscriptions even higher.

Coupled with an anticipated boom in backyard summer travel around the corner,  two of Florida’s destination marketing organizations (DMOs) saw an opportunity in this streaming bonanza, taking an innovative tourism marketing approach to reach Americans just as they start booking post-vaccine trips.

Instead of streaming just ads, Visit Florida and Visit St. Pete-Clearwater  scripted and co-produced an original series launched this month and streaming on Amazon Prime Video, as well as on YouTube and GoUSA TV.

“ Life’s Rewards ” is a dramedy set entirely in St. Pete. Eight-episodes at 10-15 minutes each tell the story of Dan Kinney, a privileged Floridian corporate executive whose luck runs out when a major deal falls through while on a business trip to St. Pete.

Fired from his father’s company and his bank accounts frozen, Dan ends up using his millions of hotel points to hole up at the historic Don CeSar Hotel or the “Pink Palace” on St. Pete beach for an extended stay. As he runs out of cash, he builds new friendships with locals he might never have interacted with otherwise.

Visit Florida and St. Pete-Clearwater each funded $275,000 for this project, sourced from the marketing budget and bed taxes respectively. The series was filmed and co-produced by Sarasota-based Odyssey – the Studio at Miles Partnership .

“What makes this stand out, compared to how we as a DMO or a film commission would typically work with a production, is that the story line is on the destination itself,” said Steve Hayes, CEO of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater. “Therefore, when they are talking about going someplace, it’s an actual real place. When they’re talking about the Don CeSar, it is the Don, they didn’t make up another hotel name, or Tarpon Springs, it’s a real city and community.”

There’s no hint in the series that it doubles as a marketing campaign — a couple of episodes in, the quirky storyline develops and turns it into a binge-worthy watch that takes viewers across popular sights and local restaurants in the St. Pete-Clearwater area.

“Why it happened right now, and why we kind of pushed for it right now is the pandemic: people were spending a lot of time in front of their streaming devices,” said Staci Mellman, chief marketing officer at Visit Florida.

“We are solely focused on Florida’s recovery as a tourism destination, our economy is dependent on it, so we’re going to use every single tool in our toolbox.”

It’s a clever, direct blurring of lines between tourism marketing, film entertainment and streaming, showcasing the destination to consumers in their favorite devices at a time when travel is restarting in the U.S., all while creating a new role for DMOs.

Success Metrics for A DMO-Produced Series Is Virgin Territory

Unlike most states during the pandemic, Florida has been reaping the rewards of having beaches and coastlines as well as relaxed Covid restrictions which allowed for an earlier reopening last summer.

“In mid March of this year, our occupancy was equal to or greater than 2019, which was a banner year for us,” Visit St. Pete-Clearwater’s Hayes said. “In March, our tourist development tax revenues exceeded our totals for March 2019. I’m not even comparing 2020. In talking with restaurants to attractions to even lodging, most of them for March and April exceeded 2019 levels.”

Hayes is nevertheless staying cautiously optimistic, in spite of signs that Memorial Day this year will be more robust than 2019.

Rolling out an Amazon Prime series is only likely to boost that pent up demand — and the DMOs are figuring out how to measure that success.

“I think the big measure is going to be number of downloads and people watching, and the other element to it is, if there is enough of this… it ends on a cliffhanger and so does that lead itself to season two?”

Mellman said this was virgin territory and difficult to know what would be a reasonable success metric for this series project. “The Florida Keys did a survey after the first season of Bloodline came out and that had a big impact on them — the impact was about $65 million of incremental visits, and that again was on a streaming platform, that wasn’t in a post-Covid world.”

“I want the visibility, I want people to talk,” Hayes said. “This is our unique way to do that and hopefully that has us out on the cutting edge of a new way to tell our story.”

For now, Visit Florida and Visit St. Pete-Clearwater are celebrating an early win — the”Best Breakthrough Streaming Series” award at the 2021 Sunscreen Film Festival earlier this month.

a DIRECT Role for Tourism in Film Beyond Ancillary Benefits

Ancillary benefits from this project included at least 40 local talent hires, a significant number at time of tourism downturn, in addition to supporting a local production company and 250-275 room nights for the St. Pete-Clearwater area.

But Mellman said the project is just starting and a lot of additional benefits will follow, noting the reality of film induced tourism and people traveling after being inspired by locations on their screens, from Game of Thrones to Sex and the City.

“We as a destination shouldn’t necessarily just experience the accidental positive impact of this film induced tourism, we can actually take a stand and create it for ourselves,” Mellman said. “That is the hope of this project.”

So far, the Don CeSar has launched a “ Life’s Rewards package ” offering $250 recreation credit and a daily $150 food and beverage credit for a minimum two-night luxury stay “in a Dan-approved suite.

A New Horizon: Feature Film Production

As the series’ closing credits roll, Hayes and Mellman’s names appear under the producer list, without a direct mention of their roles at Visit St. Pete-Clearwater or Visit Florida.

Visit St. Pete-Clearwater plans to continue on this new, direct path where tourism marketing blends into film storytelling by co-producing a full feature $1 million “Hallmark” style film with a local production company.

“We’re working directly with the producer,” Hayes said. “It was something we already had in mind and actually we were already starting that process as we were finding out what Visit Florida was doing. We would work with the production company to shop it, and where it could be broadcast, whether it’s on Netflix, Amazon, or actually joined up on TV.” That project is likely to move forward in the Fall.

Mellman hopes Visit Florida has more brave partners like Visit St. Pete-Clearwater in the future who will invest after they see the success of “Life’s Rewards.”

“I can remember when I was over in Tampa and we had a 30-minute infomercial and we thought that was the greatest thing since sliced bread,” Hayes said. “So it’s finding new ways to get our story out to the consumer in a way that they want to see it versus traditional mechanisms.”

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Tags: dmos , tourism marketing , visit florida

Photo credit: Life's Rewards is set at The Don CeSar hotel on St. Pete Beach, and is the first DMO-scripted and produced original series. Courtesy of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater / Visit St. Pete-Clearwater

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The advertising department negotiates all paid and sanctioned co-op media placements for VISIT FLORIDA, as well as directs our digital agency. This ensures all media placements are creative, effective, and designed to meet both short-term and long-term marketing and communications goals. Sanctioned Co-op Programs Sanctioned co-op programs are media placements negotiated by VISIT FLORIDA with publishers to set up Special Florida Advertising Sections at the most advantageous rates for our Partners. VISIT FLORIDA does not pay for these placements, rather the publication works directly with the Partners to establish their buys and advertise their business under the VISIT FLORIDA brand. Dedicated Co-op Programs Many of the media buys our team negotiates and places have co-op portions built into them. VISIT FLORIDA works alongside partners to place the these buys. Dedicated co-op opportunities include TV, radio, out of home, print, social, and digital advertising placements. Browse the advertising programs in the Marketing Planner to see what is currently available

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Visit Florida TV Spot, 'Moment of Sunshine'

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Memorial Day road trip ahead. Here are the best and worst times to go in Florida, the Southeast

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Memorial Day is rapidly approaching, which means millions will be hitting the roadways or skies for a quick weekend getaway.

AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Memorial Day holiday travel period. This is a 4% increase over last year, with experts noting this comes close to matching 2005’s record of 44 million Memorial Day travelers. 

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel, said. “We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we’re exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead.”  

When is Memorial Day 2024? When is Memorial Day weekend 2024?

Memorial Day is always observed on the last Monday of May, with this year's being on Monday, May 27. Memorial Day weekend starts on Friday, May 24, and lasts through the holiday until Monday.

Why we celebrate: What to know about federal holiday, what’s open in Florida

Which will be more congested for Memorial Day travel — roadways or airports?

According to AAA, road trips are expected to set a record with 38.4 million people projected to travel by car over Memorial Day weekend. Drivers can expect similar gas prices as last year when the national average was roughly $3.57.

Renting a car for your road trip? Florida-based rental company  Hertz  says Orlando, Denver, Atlanta, Boston and Las Vegas are the cities displaying the highest rental demand, with the busiest pick-up days projected to be Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24. 

But airports are also bracing for a large surge of travelers next weekend.

Is Memorial Day a busy airport day?

AAA expects 3.51 million air travelers this holiday weekend, an increase of 4.8% over last year and 9% jump compared to 2019.

"This will be the most crowded Memorial Day weekend at airports since 2005, when 3.64 million flew for the holiday as the travel industry finally rebounded post 9/11," AAA said in its press release.

As for other modes of transportation, AAA predicts nearly two million people are expected to travel by buses, cruises, and train.

“This category took the biggest hit during the pandemic with fewer people taking public transportation or not cruising at all,” Twidale said. “Now – five years later – we’re back to 2019 numbers. Travel demand has been soaring, and long holiday weekends create the perfect windows for getaways.” 

When are the best and worst times to travel on Memorial Day?

For those planning a road trip for the holiday weekend, transportation data and insights provider INRIX offers the best times to get on the road.

Experts advise drivers leaving Thursday or Friday should hit the road early to avoid mixing with commuters. Travelers going back home on Sunday or Monday should avoid the afternoon hours when return trips will peak.  

“Travel times are expected to be up to 90% longer than normal. Travelers should stay up to date on traffic apps, 511 services, and local news stations to avoid sitting in traffic longer than necessary,” Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, said.

What are the busiest travel days around Memorial Day?

Thursday, may 23.

  • Best times: Before 11 a.m., After 7 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Friday, May 24

  • Best times: Before 11 a.m., After 8 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

  • Best times: Before 11 a.m., After 6 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, May 26

  • Best times: Before 1 p.m.
  • Worst Times: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Monday, May 27

  • Best times: After 7 p.m.

Floridians beware: Other states are heading to Florida to vacation

Whether Florida residents plan on traveling or relaxing at home all weekend, they might want to be aware of the thousands of others joining them.

AAA compiled a list of the top domestic travel destinations for Memorial Day weekend, with three Florida cities making the list:

  • Orlando, Florida
  • Seattle, Washington
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Anaheim/Los Angeles, California
  • Denver, Colorado
  • Anchorage, Alaska
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Miami, Florida
  • Boston, Massachusetts

"This Memorial Day weekend, travelers are seeking theme parks and entertainment venues in Orlando, New York, Las Vegas, and Southern California. Seattle, Anchorage, and Vancouver rank high because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Florida beaches and cruise ports will also be packed," AAA writes.

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REAL ID deadline moving closer. 14 things you need to know to get your Florida license

You're running out of time.

The deadline to have a REAL ID is now less than a year away.

Originally set for October 2021, the deadline for U.S. residents to have a REAL ID has been extended at least twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning in May 2025, anyone 18 and older who plans to take a domestic flight will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints.

Here's what you need to know about REAL IDs.

What is a REAL ID?

After the 9/11 Commission recommended the federal government set standards for identification, Congress passed the  Real ID Act  in 2005.

The act established  minimum security standards for getting a license anywhere across the country  and prohibited some federal agencies from accepting anything less.

"The act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits certain federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards," according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The purposes are:

  • Accessing certain federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants

The Real ID Act became effective nationwide on May 11, 2008. Florida began issuing REAL ID-compliant credentials after Jan. 4, 2010.

Why do you need a REAL ID?

Without a REAL ID, you will not be permitted to pass through a TSA checkpoint after May 7, 2025.

REAL ID-compliant credentials already are required to enter checkpoints at federal facilities,  military facilities  and nuclear power plants.

What's the deadline to get a REAL ID?

The federal government is expected to start enforcing REAL ID on May 7, 2025. At that time, people will need either a Real ID or passport to fly domestically and enter certain federal facilities.

So if you're an adult and plan to fly commercially, you'll need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license.

Is there an alternative to a REAL ID?

Sort of. If you don't have a REAL ID, you'll need:

  • A REAL ID-compliant identification.
  • A valid passport or passport card.

Countdown clock to deadline for a REAL ID

Where do you go to get a real id in florida.

Real IDs in Florida will be issued to first-time and renewing customers at a local driver's license service center or tax collector officer.

You must visit an office in person to get a REAL ID the first time, according to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Since January 2020, those without a REAL ID license have not been able to renew their licenses online through the MyDMV Portal.

If your card is not REAL ID compliant and you aren't up for renewal before May 7, 2025, make an appointment to get a new card. Locations can be found  here .

A Class E license can be renewed up to 18 months prior to the card’s expiration date.

How do you know if you already have a REAL ID?

In Florida, a REAL ID is marked with a gold circle with a white star in the top right corner of your driver's license or state identification card. If the star is there, it's REAL ID compliant.

 If you've received a new or renewed Florida driver's license or ID since January 2010, you should be good to go.

How much does a REAL ID cost in Florida?

The  fee for an initial Florida Class E license  (including learner’s permit) is $48 and a commercial driver's license (Class A) license is $75.

The fee for a state ID card is $25.

Most local tax collector offices also charge a $6.25 service fee.

Here's what you need to bring with you to get a REAL ID in Florida

You’ll need to bring  one of the primary documents  listed below to prove your identity, legal residence and date of birth:

For U.S. citizens:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate
  • Consular report of birth abroad
  • Certificate of naturalization issued by DHS
  • Certificate of citizenship
  • Court-ordered name change document
  • Marriage certificate, issued by the courts, and/or
  • Divorce decree, issued by the courts

In all cases, the document must show a clear trail of name changes originating with the birth name to the current name.

For non-citizens:

  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card – I-551 for Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Valid passport for non-immigrants except for asylum applicants and refugees
  • Other government-issued document showing your full name
  • Department of Homeland Security document showing proof of lawful presence
  • If your name has changed by marriage/divorce, you must have your name changed on your Citizen and Immigration Services documents.

Both citizens and non-citizens will need to bring:

  • Your Social Security Card or proof of your social security number. You can find a list of documents that provide proof of your social security number on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's  What to Bring page .
  • Two documents that show your principle residence

How long does it take to get a REAL ID in Florida?

Once your identity and legal status have been verified, a driver's license or ID card will be issued within 60 days and mailed to the address on the driver record.

The driver's license or ID card will be issued for the period of time specified on the USCIS document, up to a maximum of four years.

Is REAL ID mandatory in Florida?

Yes. Every state resident must have a Real ID-compliant driver's license or identification card — or valid passport — to board a commercial aircraft within the U.S.

Without a REAL ID — or acceptable alternative — travelers will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.

Will children need to have a REAL ID?

No. The TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Can you use a REAL ID to enter the Bahamas, Mexico or Canada, or another country?

No. REAL IDs cannot be used for border crossings or international travel. If you're traveling internationally, you still need a passport.

REAL IDs also can't be used for international sea cruise travel.

What is the gold star on my Florida driver's license?

If the star is there, it's Real ID compliant.

Smoking Hondas and TV commercials. That's who's not winning the Indy 500

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What's worse than a four-hour delay to Sunday's Indy 500 after torrents of rain flooded into Speedway? Obviously it's the deluge of commercials.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials may've lifted a local blackout to the 108th running of the Indy 500, but some fans on social media were quick to complain a glut of TV commercials made "the greatest spectacle in racing" nearly unwatchable.

"NBC, I am begging you to offer an option to watch Indycar ad free," wrote Neil Scheibelhu t on X, formerly Twitter. " It's the same story every year , more commercials than racing. I understand you have to pay the bills, but give me an option."

And when the race wasn't being interrupted with travel ads to Alaska, it seems racecars with Honda engines kept crashing, or bursting into flames. Here's what people were saying about it on social media.

Indy 500 crashes: Engine woes hurting Honda at Indy 500; 3 engines fail in first 150 miles of race

Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

2024 Indy 500:  Live results, starting grid, news and more...

Social media reacts to Honda issues, TV commercials during Indy 500

John Tufts covers trending news for the Indianapolis Star. Send him a news tip at  [email protected] .

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    ORLANDO, Fla. —. A new Visit Florida ad campaign airing in 48 states through June is inviting people to enjoy the kind of vacation freedom available in few other states. The $7 million ad ...

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    Includes first destination TV ads since start of pandemic. Visit Orlando launched its first full-scale marketing campaign since the start of the pandemic this month, targeting U.S. residents in the Southeast for spring and summer travel to Orlando.. The campaign marks the first time since last March the destination marketing organization has run television advertising promoting travel to ...

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