If you don’t have a passport, now would be the perfect time to obtain one. Starting Jan. 22, 2018, travelers with driver’s licenses issued by one of nine states will no longer be considered valid, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
This law will prevent residents of Pennsylvania, Missouri, Montana, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Kentucky, South Carolina, Washington and Maine from clearing TSA checkpoints for domestic air travel unless TSA is provided with alternative forms of identifications such as a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card. These states have been given extensions through 2017.
On Thursday, Dec. 23, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security began placing signage inside airports to notify travelers of the changes slated for 2018.The DHS explained that the modifications are a result of the REAL ID law passed by Congress in 2005.
“The IDs from these nine states do not meet the federal government’s minimum security standards. And, according to the REAL ID Act of 2005, federal agencies, like TSA, are prohibited from “accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards,” said DHS.
“States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver’s license today than before the passage of the Act,” DHS added.
For the next three years, residents outside of the states listed will not be affected, but by 2020, all travelers will be required to have identification in compliance with REAL ID or they too will not be allowed through TSA security checkpoints.