If you don't know about The REAL ID Act, read this
Starting January 22, 2018, drivers licenses from certain U.S. states and territories may no longer be accepted by TSA for domestic travel, meaning travelers will need to present a passport or alternate form of ID.
While the REAL ID Act may not be new news to you, it has recently gained more space in the headlines as extensions for compliance are ending and deadlines are drawing near.
If you haven't heard of the REAL ID Act or need clarification, here's a quick overview:
Who does this apply to?
Anyone who travels by plane within the United States.
What is it?
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 to enforce security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. If states do not meet these standards, the act actually prohibits Federal agencies (like the TSA) from accepting their licenses and identification cards. While most states have made considerable progress in meeting these standards, not ALL states are compliant.
Who is compliant?
This interactive map on DHS website shows the current compliance status for each state. Some states (including California) have been given an extension until October 10, 2018. Others currently under review are approaching the 'grace period' deadline of January 22, 2018- if your ID is issued from one of these states, you'll want to check back to see if they are marked compliant!
Under Review (deadline: January 22, 2018):
*As of 12.19.17
- American Samoa
- New York
- Northern Mariana Islands
Extension (through October 20, 2018):
*As of 12.19.1
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Virgin Islands
Why should you care?
You've likely already seen signs around the airport about the REAL ID Act, and while the thought of being denied entry at the airport can be stressful, you're in good shape as long as have the identification you need: if you hold an ID from a state that is ‘Under Review’ until January 22, 2018, you should apply for a passport or make sure you have a valid, additional form of identification, ASAP. All acceptable forms of identification are listed here and below:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns!