One Year Till TSA stop accepting some state drivers’ licenses

Travel News 19 May 2017

With less than a year to go till TSA stop accepting some state drivers’ licenses for Domestic US travel, they have begun promoting the new requirements throughout airports to warn travelers.

“ID requirements are changing,” the signs state. “Starting January 22, 2018, you will need a driver’s license or ID from a state compliant with the Real ID Act, a state that has an extension for compliance or an alternate ID to fly.”

At the beginning of last year a timeline of the final phase of the implementation of the REAL ID Act was announced, affecting how air travelers will board commercial domestic flights over the next several years.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Real ID program requires states to adopt better security measures for driver’s licenses and other identification. So far only about half the states have complied already with the program Congress created in 2005, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

“Given today’s threat environment, this requirement is as relevant now as it was when the 9/11 Commission recommended it," Jeh Johnson, secretary of Homeland Security, said in announcing the deadlines a year ago.

Which States do not yet comply?*

  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana

Residents from the above states will need identification other than driver’s licenses to fly on Jan. 22, 2018.

TSA accepts alternative forms of identification, such as a passport, military ID or permanent-resident card. But because so many travelers use driver’s licenses for identification at TSA checkpoints, the agency posted signs as a reminder about the looming deadline.

Five states – Alaska, California, Oklahoma, Oregon and Virginia – got federal extensions for residents to use their driver’s licenses for federal agencies through June 6.

Another dozen states have extensions to use driver’s licenses for federal agencies through Oct. 10. Those states are: Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Texas.


*This article was originally posted on February 8th 2017 and was updated on May 19th 2017 with the relevant non-compliant states.