Posted: 9/11/2017

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Travelers may need to check their identification to ensure it is sufficient for travel in the near future. Starting January 22, 2018, travelers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is not complaint with the REAL ID Act will need to provide another form of identification to board flights within the U.S. Travelers should check to see if their state is compliant or not and explore other identification options.

airport terminal

Travelers may need to check their identification to ensure it is sufficient for travel in the near future. Starting January 22, 2018, travelers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is not complaint with the REAL ID Act will need to provide another form of identification to board flights within the U.S. Travelers should check to see if their state is compliant or not and explore other identification options.

The REAL ID Act, passed in 2005, established minimum security standards for state issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. It prohibits Federal agencies from accepting licenses and ID cards from states that have not met these standards. Some states have already complied with the law, while others received an extension, which ends October 10, 2017. Non-compliant states may apply to renew their extension and, if granted, passengers from those states will still be able to use their license and ID’s until the extension expires. If the extension is not granted, state issued ID’s will not be able to be used for domestic travel. By October 1, 2020, every traveler will need to have a REAL ID compliant license or ID or another acceptable form of ID for domestic air travel.

One option for passengers is to apply for an alternative identification document well before their travel dates. Check with the airline to see what ID is accepted. Some alternative options include:

  • U.S. passport  or passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
  • 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
  • Immigration and Naturalization Service Employment Authorization Card (I-766)

Additional Travel Tip

Those looking to save time when traveling through airports and airlines may want to consider TSA pre-check. The $85 membership fee lasts five years and allows passengers to get through security without having to remove items such as shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. Nationwide, several airlines and airports provide TSA pre-check. Interested persons need to apply online, go through a 10-minute appointment for background check and fingerprinting, and, if approved, wait to be issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that can be added to the passenger’s ticket to breeze through check-in.

More information on REAL ID requirements and TSA pre-check can be found on the Transportation Security Administration’s website.

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Tags: travel, new laws

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