Airline passengers from states not compliant with the 2005 REAL ID law will be unable to board a flight using their driver’s license from Jan. 22, 2018, according to new guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
“Effective Jan. 22, 2018, air travelers with a driver’s license or identification card issued by a state that does not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act (unless that state has been granted an extension to comply with the Act) must present an alternative form of identification acceptable to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in order to board a commercial domestic flight,” Jeh Johnson said in a statement Friday.
The REAL ID Act, originally passed in 2005, was meant to tighten standards for government-issued IDs -- like driver’s licenses -- and banned federal agencies from accepting any IDs that don’t meet the standard.
While Washington let the rules slide for years, DHS has been ramping up efforts to pressure states into compliance.
DHS is enforcing the legislation in stages, and is currently only requiring the enhanced IDs for access to military bases, most federal facilities and nuclear plants. Currently only 23 states are in full compliance with the law.
“I urge state government leaders to take immediate action to comply with the REAL ID Act, to ensure the continued ability of their residents to fly unimpeded. It is time to move toward final compliance with this law,” Johnson said.
The legislation has faced opposition from both Democrats and Republicans due to privacy and cost concerns, and fears that it represents the first step toward a national ID system.