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passportIn December 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced how the Real ID Act was going to be enforced.  The Real ID act was an initiative that was passed by Congress in 2005, which set the standards for how identification documents were to be issued.  70-80% of the states already had driver’s license issuance standards that met the Real ID act, but, via the Road Warrior Voices section of USA Today, there were 4 states whose driver’s licenses were ruled “non-compliant”: Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York.

What is the final phase of Real ID Act enforcement?

The final phase of the enforcement of the Real ID Act states that:

  • Phase 4: Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. A driver’s license or identification card from a noncompliant state may only be used in conjunction with an acceptable second form of ID for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

There hasn’t been an official announcement from the TSA of when driver’s licenses from those 4 states will no longer be accepted to pass a TSA checkpoint in an airport, though New York media is reporting that the NY state driver’s license will be invalid as a form of ID for flying in 2016.

So if you live in (have a driver’s license from) one of those states (Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and New York), you may want to make sure to take a passport with you next time you fly!

Note that there are 25 states that are not compliant but have filed an extension, meaning that although their IDs are non-compliant, they will still be valid to pass through a TSA check point.  Wikipedia, as always, has the up-to-date list.

Thanks to Michael W Travels for alerting me!


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