Your Driver’s License Soon May Not Work as Airport I.D.

Air travelers from one of four states with licenses that don’t meet the federal standards could be affected as soon as 2016. Here are the details.

If you have a driver’s license from Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire or New York, you could have your travel plans grounded in 2016 unless you bring a second form of ID to get you through airport security.

Driver’s licenses from those four states and American Samoa don’t comply with federal security rules for government-issued IDs, USA Today reports.

The REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005, established minimum security standards for identification cards. It was a move to fight terrorism and prevent identity theft.

The Department of Homeland Security announced in December 2013 that it would start enforcing the ID standards for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft “no sooner than 2016.”

That could mean that a driver’s license that is “noncompliant” under the REAL ID act could be virtually useless for airport security purposes as soon as January, unless the traveler has a second valid form of ID, such as a passport. But DHS said this:

DHS will ensure the public has ample advanced notice before identification requirements for boarding aircraft change. That notice will include information on the process for individuals with a non-compliant driver’s license or identification card to be able to travel by aircraft.

According to DHS, 70 to 80 percent of all U.S. drivers have licenses that are compliant or live in a state that has received a compliance extension.

Minnesota and New York do offer enhanced IDs that are compliant with federal security standards.

My state, Montana, was granted an extension by DHS to meet the ID regulations.

Do you live in one of the four states that are noncompliant with the REAL ID act? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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