Will Your Driver’s License Get You On A Domestic Flight in 2016?

Ten years ago the U.S. government passed the Real I.D. Act, requiring stricter standards for state-issued IDs, including driver’s licenses. The idea was to toughen standards on what documents were needed to get a driver’s license in an effort to crack down on the potential for terrorists and other criminals to obtain state-issued IDs. The Act makes it harder to obtain a driver’s license with counterfeit records. Fewer than half of the states have complied with the law. Though the law states that noncompliant IDs cannot be used to board domestic flights, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has not been enforcing that standard. In 2013, DHS announced that it in 2016 it would begin enforcing the law for state-issued IDs on domestic travel. A few days ago, DHS announced that it had postponed enforcing the Real I.D. Act until January, 2018. What that means for you is that for now, you can travel on domestic flights using your state-issued driver’s license without any problems. But check the list below to see what the status of your state is with respect to compliance with the Real I.D. Act. And if your state is not compliant, you need to stay on top of this issue so that you don’t find yourself at the airport one day, unable to get through security! Currently, the following states are noncompliant with no extension request pending: 1. Illinois; 2. Minnesota; 3. Missouri; 4. New Mexico; 5. Washington. Four states waiver requests are pending: 1. Alaska; 2. California; 3. New Jersey; 4. South Carolina. Nineteen states (including Louisiana and Texas) have been granted waiver extensions that last through October 10, 2016, except New Hampshire whose extension expires on June 1, 2016: 1. Arizona; 2. Arkansas; 3. Idaho; 4. Kentucky; 5. Louisiana 6. Maine; 7. Massachusetts; 8. Michigan; 9. Montana; 10. New Hampshire; 11. New York; 12. North Carolina; 13. North Dakota; 14. Oklahoma; 15. Oregon; 16. Pennsylvania; 17. Rhode Island; 18. Texas; 19. Virginia The 22 states not listed in any of the categories above, as well as the District of Columbia, are all compliant with the Real I.D. Act. Check back for more updates on this important topic!
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