Drivers License may not be valid for domestic air travel

just found this out, TSA is not accepting a DL as a valid form of ID for domestic travel, from several states. That list of states is growing. Can you imagine, you need a passport to fly from NY to Minnesota and back ? It has something to do with what is called the Real ID Program.

Okay, I know this sounds like one of my made up stories, but tragically, it's not. It's very real, and you can Google it or look it up on Yahoo.

search: Real ID Act for more info.

17 Answers

It's true. It's a situation that's been going since last year. Kinda old news actually. Thanks for the reminder.

I just saw it. Never heard about it. Apparently it goes back to 2005, but is due to really kick in in 2018.

The program is being phased in and requirements vary by STATE as to when your Driver's License needs to be changed ... when you go for a renewal, you can opt in for the Real ID early if your state allows... think 2020 is the target deadline for all states to comply....

This brings to mind the situation with Canadian travel. If you have a passport that is other than USA or Canadian passengers need more paperwork which can be done online. I've seen at the airport lots of people headed to Canada with another country's passport and they had no idea. They can't go until they go online and get things taken care of. Some miss their flight. I know this is going to be even worse even though I've seen signs around warning people.

Flying shouldn't have to be such a pain in the a@@.


Colorado has the real ID... but still frustrating. BTW: they are uglier than before.

I'm surprised you haven't heard of this before, you are usually so on top of any travel related news. I have been warning people that ask about passports vs DL & BC for cruises for about 3 years now (even back on FV) that if they would be flying to port that soon they would need a passport or at least a passport card to board the plane if their state failed to comply with the True ID act.

Initially it was only 5 states including NJ (my home state) that applied for the extensions but that number now is up to about 1/2 of the states in the union and all of the US territories and protectorates. The extensions end 10/10/17 and it is at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if they will allow another round of extensions to follow through so states can comply with the more stringent process of validating a person's nationality or immigration status as part of any state government issued ID.

As of right now the phase 4 (the part that affects air travel) planned implementation date 1/22/18, but of course they may push it back yet again. As of right now if the states on extension do not get another extension or become compliant within the time frame, entry into any Federal controlled building will be restricted.

I don't need to fly anywhere. Atlanta once in a while. All of our cruises are out of NY

The "Real ID" act is designed to make the forging of the drivers license harder (next to impossible) so that Law Enforcement can better identify frauds. It is not a travel document (passport).

That being said, a passport does meet the "Real ID" requirements and can be accepted by TSA.

Drivers Licenses that do not meet the requirements will no longer be accepted by TSA as identification. You can blame your state for not bringing the licenses in line (as I blame TexasSad)

That's why we decided to get our passports a couple of years ago--as far as I know, KY is still not compliant with Real ID.

Well, for that reason and also as a result of the great advice from seasoned cruisers about the follies of traveling without a passport.

I had heard this started with 9-11. That they all had DL's and some of them had more then one DL with different names. This issue was even broached on a YouTube channel for nomadic RV living and how to get a DR and home base address for mail forwarded as you travel the country. I'm have had a passport for decades. I had used it for proof of citizenship for paperwork for some of the contract jobs I have had over the last couple decades.

I had heard that pre 9-11 less then 20 % of Americans had passports.


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