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Implementation of the REAL ID Act

Do you have a driver’s license issued by the state of Washington, Minnesota, or Missouri? As of late January 2018, you may be unable to use it to fly domestically within the United States.

From 2008 to 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authorized $263 million in grants to improve the security of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The grants were awarded in accordance with DHS’s goal to implement the REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005 to encourage states to adopt measures for more secure identification.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Senior Counselor Howard Goldman recently discussed ways in which the act may potentially affect domestic U.S. travelers in a webinar entitled Implementation of the REAL ID Act by the Transportation Security Administration. Goldman reviewed the specific standards states must meet in order to be considered compliant.


As of October 13, there are 24 compliant states, 29 noncompliant and three under review. Although it is in their best interest to do so, legislative barriers bar certain states from becoming compliant. According to Goldman, “In most cases, the DMVs would like to get on with it and become compliant, but state law prohibits them from doing that.”


So how does implementation of the REAL ID Act affect you? Beginning January 22, 2018, travelers with identification credentials issued by noncompliant states without an extension will be prohibited from flying within the United States. Travelers are able to check whether their driver’s license or identification card will be accepted here.

The act will be fully enforced on October 1, 2020, after which the TSA will only accept identification issued by compliant states, in addition to passports, U.S. military IDs, and other forms listed on their website.


To find out more about the REAL ID Act, view the webinar in full through the Hub. These sessions are just around the corner:

The full schedule of webinars is available here.

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