WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin posting signs at airports this week notifying travelers that beginning January 2018 it will start enforcing REAL ID requirements at airport security checkpoints, meaning that travelers seeking to use their state-issued driver’s license or identification card for boarding commercial aircraft may only use such documents if they are issued by a REAL ID compliant state or a non-compliant state with an extension.
TSA’s notification follows Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s announcement earlier this year of the final phase of implementation of the REAL ID Act. Effective January 22, 2018, TSA will only accept state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards if they are issued by a REAL ID compliant state or a non-compliant state with an extension. As always, travelers may use alternate forms of identification such as a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card. A complete list of identification documents accepted at TSA checkpoints is available on tsa.gov.
The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes the minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for certain official purposes, including boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, from states that do not meet these minimum standards and have not received an extension for compliance from DHS.
DHS continues to work with states to encourage compliance and may grant extensions or determine compliance for additional states as warranted. TSA will update signage if and when states that are currently listed receive extensions. Learn more about REAL ID, check the status of your state’s complianceor read the frequently asked questions.
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