Lead Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Katrina Callin reviews the identification of a passenger at one of the checkpoints at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). (credit: Transportation Security Administration)
Starting next week, certain state ID cards will no longer be accepted at federal facilities. Five states, along with the territory of American Samoa, aren’t compliant with the 2005 “Real ID” law and haven’t received an extension from the Department of Homeland Security. On Sunday, January 10, a “grace period” will end and enforcement of the Real ID rules will begin, DHS officials told reporters on a press call today.
The bigger concern for many citizens is whether ID cards from non-compliant states will be accepted for air travel. On that point, there’s some breathing room. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement today that the law will be enforced with regard to air travel beginning on January 18, 2018. At that time, travelers with ID cards from states that don’t meet the law’s requirements “must present an alternative form of identification acceptable to the Transportation Security Administration in order to board a commercial domestic flight.”
Johnson’s statement also says that on October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a Real ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of ID, such as a passport. (That’s essentially the same rule as the 2018 deadline, but there’s no talk of states still having “extensions” in 2020.)
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