Remember That January 22nd Deadline To Have Real ID At The Airport?

As we hope you read in this article from October, Homeland Security said that as of January 22, 2018, all American citizens age 18+ who used a driver’s license as ID would need one that was Real ID compliant, or live in a state that had gotten an extension while actively pursuing the changeover to Real ID, in order to use it to get through TSA security at U.S. airports. It wasn’t a new decree – they had been working towards this since 2005 and the first deadline had been May, 2008 – but there had been extension after extension for states that were non-compliant. But January 22 was going to be THE final date. In the past few days it was said there were still 9 states that weren’t yet compliant AND still hadn’t filed for extensions, so what was going happen to them as of January 22nd?

Nothing. In the past few days they all squeaked in under the wire and got yet another extension. 😉

TSA StatesMajor news outlets such as CNBC, Business Insider and USA Today have written articles in recent days to remind people that if they lived in Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Washington, they would need an alternate form of ID to fly. But finally (FINALLY!) the governments of all nine of those states had filed extensions as well, so now all 50 states are now either compliant with Real ID or have an extension to become compliant, as per Steve Yonkers, the Department of Homeland Security’s director of Real ID. To break down the numbers, twenty-eight states and territories are already fully compliant, twenty-six have now been granted extensions through Oct. 1, 2020, and just two territories, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands, are still under review for an extension, as per Yonkers. Click here for more information about each individual state and territory. But in a nutshell, this means passengers from all U.S. states can continue to use their driver’s licenses as usual for domestic travel. For now.

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 10.51.02 PM
Map of states’ and territories’ status of being compliant, requesting an extension and under review, as of January 19, 2018 (Photo: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id)

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every adult boarding any federally regulated aircraft — including domestic flights — will need a Real ID-compliant license or they will need to show an alternative form of identification:

  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • 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
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

We’ll see what happens as we get closer to Oct. 1, 2020. Will every state finally be Real ID compliant yet? Or will there be ANOTHER extension? Time will tell.

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