Driver License: Soon Not Compliant For Airport Security
If you are using a state-issued driver license to board domestic flights, then you MUST pay attention.
In the not too distant future, without a REAL ID-compliant driver license, or a passport, you will not be allowed on any flight.
And, just because your state is now compliant, it doesn’t mean that the driver license in your possession is compliant.
We live in Arizona. Arizona now issues two different driver licenses. One that can be used to board airplanes (the Voluntary Travel Driver License) and the Standard Driver License. The Standard Driver License will not get me through TSA airport security. And, effective October 2020, the driver license that I have in my pocket can no longer be used as an ID to get me through TSA security.
This all starts January 22, 2018, if you live in a non-compliant state!
Therefore, Carol and I must obtain the new Arizona Voluntary Travel Driver License, or bring our passports to board any domestic or international flight.
To make this even more complicated, there are a large number of states that are still not compliant with the REAL ID ACT. When the deadline comes, travelers in those states will need a valid passport to board any domestic or international flight.
Warning: make certain that the driver license in your possession is compliant with the soon-to-be-inforced REAL ID ACT. If not, without a valid passport, you will no longer be able to board any plane in the United States.
Here is the timetable for rolling out this program:
On January 8, 2016, the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the following timetable for the implementation of the REAL ID Act for air travel:
- Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security will conduct outreach to educate the traveling public about the timeline below, and continue engagements with states to encourage compliance with REAL ID standards.
- Effective on July 15, 2016, TSA, in coordination with airlines and airport stakeholders, will begin to issue web-based advisories and notifications to the traveling public.
- Effective on December 15, 2016, TSA will expand outreach at its airport checkpoints through signage, handouts, and other methods.
- Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight. To check whether your state is compliant or has an extension, click here. Passengers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is compliant with REAL ID (or a state that has been issued an extension) will still be able to use their driver’s licenses or identification cards.
- Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.
This timetable recognizes that some states must change their laws to comply with the REAL ID Act. It is also designed to provide an opportunity for members of the public to learn more about the implications of not having a REAL ID-compliant license, and so that individuals have an ample opportunity to replace their pre-REAL ID licenses with new compliant licenses or to obtain another acceptable form of identification.
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