If you are a frequent traveler, you may have recently seen signs that your state ID may not be sufficient identification to board airlines in 2018. While some states already comply with the REAL ID Act, residents of many states will be required to show additional identification before boarding a national flight when this law goes into action on January 22, 2018. If you are unsure if your state’s ID is sufficient or have other questions about the REAL ID Act you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know about Real ID compliant states and new TSA requirements.
What is the Real ID Act?
The Real ID Act was enacted in 2005 as a result of the 9/11 Commission. They advised the Federal Government to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses” to increase security within U.S. borders. This act puts strict security requirements into play in order for individuals to be able to board airplanes.
Will my state ID be sufficient to board an aircraft?
At this time, only 25 states are compliant with this act, which means half of the country will need to provide additional documentation in order to board their flight. For detailed information on your state’s identification requirements and timeline for if and when requirements will be changing visit Homeland Security’s Real ID Act page.
What documentation will I need to fly if my state ID does not meet requirements?
If your state’s current ID requirements do not meet the act’s standards, you will need to provide additional identification. The act states the following as acceptable forms of ID to board a national flight within the United States include:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- 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)
Will children need specific identification?
Children under the age of 18 will not be required to show identification when they are flying with an adult companion. The adult accompanying them will need to have valid ID.
When will these requirements be enforced?
Beginning January 22, 2018, states that do not currently comply with regulations and have not been granted an extension will require additional documentation to board a national flight within the U.S. By October 2020, all travelers will be required to have a REAL ID compliant license or state ID or other acceptable form of ID in order to board planes. If you are unsure if your state license meets requirements or if your state has been granted an extension on the current ID policy, you can find more information on the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
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