You may be familiar with the REAL ID Act. It was introduced by the Department of Homeland Security in 2013 to increase protection against terrorism. This ACT of Congress requires that states adhere to a new standard for issuing driver’s licenses. Over the past four years, states have been adopting new REAL ID-compliant licenses but several states have filed for an extension or are not yet compliant. There may be several states that have not fully complied with the new process by the time the act takes effect on January 22, 2018. If you hold a driver’s license from a non-compliant state, you may be required to provide additional identification when flying domestically after January 22, 2018.
Q. Where can I find out the status of my state?
A. You can check which states are compliant on the Department of Homeland Security website here. Four non-compliant states (Montana, Minnesota, Missouri and Maine) recently completed their extension requests and now have through October 2017 to comply. States shown in green are already compliant with the regulations.
Q. If my state is not yet compliant, what forms of identification will be required in addition to my driver’s license?
A. Acceptable forms of additional identification include passports, trusted traveler cards (such as for Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or U.S. military ID. You can see the full list of accepted identification here.
Q. Will minors need to have a driver’s license or other form or ID to fly domestically?
A. The TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States.
For more information, visit the Department of Homeland Security website here.