Driver’s licenses from five states are no longer valid for domestic air travel. Due to the Real ID Act, driver’s licenses from multiple states are no longer deemed acceptable forms of identification for domestic flights. Fliers from the non-compliant states may not be able to use their driver’s licenses as an acceptable form of ID and would instead need a passport or military ID to board.
CNN Money reports that fliers from five states may be in for a surprise as they try to board domestic flights in the coming months. According to the report, five states have been deemed non-compliant with the Real ID Act. This means that these IDs are no longer acceptable for air travel within the United States starting this year. In fact, less than half of the states have been approved as “compliant” under the act, but all but five states have been granted waiver extensions.
Here is a list of the five states that are currently non-compliant with the Real ID Act that have not been granted waivers.
- New Mexico
Under the new regulations, fliers from these states will need an alternate ID, such as a passport or military ID, to board domestic flights. The Real ID Act was designed to make it harder for potential terrorists to obtain state-issued IDs by toughening the standards on the type of documents needed to obtain a state ID. The act considers which documents are most easily counterfeit and makes it more difficult to obtain an ID in states following the new protocol.
— Lori L (@nrglight) January 6, 2016
So when exactly will the TSA and Department of Homeland Security start enforcing the new ID regulations? According to a DHS spokesperson, the earliest the new ID rules will go into effect is April of 2016. Therefore, fliers have a few more months before they need to worry about travel plan issues resulting from invalid IDs. Additionally, the DHS spokesperson notes that the department may choose to postpone the decision regarding the non-compliant IDs even further, but notes that states have had 10 years to comply with the new regulations.
According to the Daily Mail, those in the five non-compliant states without extensions are the only ones in danger of flight restrictions in the coming months. The rest of the states will likely be granted further extensions to update their processes. Meanwhile, those in affected states can cut out any potential future travel problems by obtaining a passport or passport card. These IDs will be acceptable for all domestic travel situations.
New Jersey Gets 9-Month Extension To Comply With Real ID Act https://t.co/yy43FPusRL
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) January 5, 2016
If a passport is not in your near future, the Department of Homeland Security says that fliers should not worry about the issue until the DHS releases an official statement regarding the timeline of implementing the new guidelines. The earliest the new guidelines will be enforced is April 2016.
Real ID Act may affect Missourians’ air travel https://t.co/x89Sj43kgQ pic.twitter.com/JdYF9qdA4D
— KY3 News (@kytv) January 4, 2016
Only 22 states have complied completely with the Real ID Act standards. These states are already in compliance, and state-issued IDs from these states will be deemed valid for all domestic forms of travel regardless of the date DHS decides to enforce the new rules. The states in full compliance are as follows.
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What do you think about the potential of some state-issued IDs no longer being acceptable for domestic travel? Do you think the regulations are too stringent since less than half of the states have been able to comply? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via AP]