A Driver's License May No Longer Get You on a Plane if You're From One of These 9 States
The Department of Homeland Security says they fail to meet federal standards under the Real ID Act
Domestic air travel might get a little more complicated for residents of certain states starting as soon as January 10.
In September the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would begin enforcing the Real ID Act in January 2016, in light of the Paris attacks and other recent security threats. That act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting licenses from states that don't meet them.
The standards include machine readable technology — essentially, a magnetic strip or chip to store the passenger's personal information — reports the New York Times, which some states are reluctant to add due to privacy concerns.
The act was passed by Congress with the end goal of making fake IDs harder to obtain, according to DHS.
Currently, drivers licenses in nine states fail to meet the standards according to DHS:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Licenses for Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands also fail to meet the requirements.
As soon as January 10, 2016, passengers with licenses from these states will be required to show a secondary form of ID. That can be a passport, passport card, military or government ID. See the full list of TSA approved identification here.
Several of these states were granted extensions last year, but those extensions are set to expire between now and October 10, 2016, depending on the state.
When enforcement does go into effect there will be a 120-day grace period, according to DHS, to give time for passengers to get acquainted with the new rules.
Currently, all state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards are accepted by the TSA at airport checkpoints.
The TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States.