With each new year come new resolutions and regulations. It’s the latter that we’re most concerned with today because there’s a big change coming to the domestic travel industry in 2018. Staring January 22 (by which time many of us, despite our good intentions, will have already ditched our new diet and exercise regimes) some of you will no longer be permitted to fly domestically with only a state-issued driver’s license. You will need to present an alternative from of id.
And like a teenager trying to buy beer at a college bar, without the proper id, you will be denied access. Stopped in your tracks from boarding that flight to Wichita or, even better, Waikiki. Why? Because, apparently, not all states are playing by the rules when it comes to meeting the minimum-security standards set by Congress in the REAL ID act of 2005.
If you live in Illinois, New York, Louisiana, Michigan, and Missouri, listen up: after *January 22, 2018, you must present an alternative from of id, like a passport or the less expensive passport card, which can’t be used for international travel (see complete list here), in order to fly within the USA.
If you live in Alaska, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, N. Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Virgin Islands, Virginia, or Washington, you have until October 10, 2018 to acquire an accepted from of id.
Beginning October 1, 2020, the party’s over: no one may board a plane using only a state-issued driver’s license.
Of course, since we’re dealing with the government, all of this *information could be rendered completely useless and inaccurate by tomorrow, so it’s always best to check the REAL ID website.
Happy New Year, everyone. January is never easy.
*UPDATE: Extensions were granted shortly after we posted this page. The deadline to comply for all states was moved from Jan 22 to October of 2018. For the most accurate information, consult the REAL ID website.
Caroline Travels the World (passport in hand)…and so Can You.