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If You Live In One Of These States, Your Driver’s License Won’t Be Valid For Air Travel Next Year

As if traveling wasn’t already complicated enough, next year residents of eight states will no longer be able to use their state-issued ID for domestic air travel.


If you’re a resident of Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Washington, your driver’s license will no longer be valid to pass TSA-checkpoints, and you will instead have to use an alternate form of ID. This means you’ll have to bring a passport, military ID or permanent resident card next time you go to the airport, even if you’re just traveling within the United States.

This new rule won’t go into effect until January 22, 2018, which gives you plenty of time to finally renew that passport. The TSA has already begun putting up signage alerting travelers of the upcoming change in requirements.

 So why exactly are these states the only ones being affected? It’s because these states don’t meet the federal government’s minimum security standards, which requires verifying every ID applicant’s identity, putting anti-counterfeit technology into the production of the card and conducting background checks on the people issuing the driver’s licenses.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 prohibits federal agencies from “accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards,” which makes these particular state IDs invalid for travel.

Currently, 25 states plus Washington D.C. are in compliance with the rules. The remaining states have been given extensions to meet the standards.

Residents from the 8 non-compliant states that haven’t been granted extensions may be affected by the REAL ID Act even sooner than January 2018, however. As of January 30, 2017, IDs from non-compliant states will not be accepted for entry into federal facilities, nuclear power plants or military bases. IDs from states that have been granted extensions will be accepted until the extension deadline.

The following 12 states have been granted an extension through October 10, 2017. This means they have until fall 2017 to make their state ID standards compliant with the Federal agency requirements:

  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas

Five other states have been granted a “limited” extension until June 6, 2017:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Virginia

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