Heads up! "REAL ID" required to board U.S. aircrafts

Guest post by The Roaming Boomers, an Independent Affiliate of Cadence

Flying this year? You won't get very far if your state's ID isn't compliant with the REAL ID Act.

Flying this year? You won't get very far if your state's ID isn't compliant with the REAL ID Act.

In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act which set Federal standards for the issuance of identification for our nation’s citizens, such as driver’s licenses. Savvy travelers Dave & Carol Porter of The Roaming Boomers give us the dish on how this affects travel next year.

The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.  The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, no sooner than 2016, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. 

Now, for most of you reading this article, you’re good to go as your state is compliant with the REAL ID Act.  However, if you live in American Samoa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York, you need to pay attention to this issue.  Your states are NOT compliant.  And, without your state’s compliance, you will not be able to board an aircraft with your driver’s license.  Until your state is compliant, you will need a passport to board an airplane in the U.S.

According to the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), “The good news is that in the past week, DHS granted Real ID extensions to Louisiana, New Hampshire and New York through October 20, 2016. However, residents of American Samoa and Minnesota still face potential travel disruptions starting in 2016. Wednesday, Minnesota’s Department of Public Safety told CNNMoney, “As soon as January 2016, Minnesotans may not be allowed to board federally regulated commercial aircraft using a Minnesota driver’s license or ID card.”

If you live in Minnesota, you had better start contacting your state representatives to get this issue resolved.  If not, come 2016, you’re going to need a passport to board a federally regulated aircraft.

If you know someone in these affected states, you may want to share this article with them.

For more information on REAL ID requirements, click here. To read about how The Roaming Boomers turned a passion for travel writing into a career, click here!