The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it will be making a decision this week.
Ten years ago, the U.S. government passed the Real ID Act, issuing stricter standards for state-issued IDs, including driver's licenses. Fewer than half (22) of the states have complied with the law.
22 states comply with the law:
These states, along with Washington, D.C., already have issued drivers' licenses that comply with the Real ID Act: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Five states are noncompliant:
Five states that have been deemed noncompliant, have not been granted an extension and do not have extensions under review: Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Washington.
But even if you live in those states, DHS hasn't issued its schedule for enforcement yet. If and when it does, there still will be 120 days notice before the TSA no longer accepts their states' IDs. And those states could still appeal DHS' decision not to grant a waiver extension, the DHS spokeswoman said.
Four states' waiver extensions are pending review:
These states applied for waiver extensions, and DHS is still reviewing their requests. All of these states were previously granted waivers that are set to expire on January 10, 2016: Alaska, California, New Jersey and South Carolina.
19 states have been granted waiver extensions:
Except for New Hampshire, all of these states' waiver extensions are set to expire on October 10, 2016. New Hampshire's extension lasts through June 1, 2016: Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia.
On January 8, 2016, the DHS Secretary made an announcement:
"Effective January 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."
Read more here.
DHS has now reached the final phase of implementation of the REAL ID Act, which relates to commercial air travel. These are the timelines for that final phase:
- Effective immediately, the Department of Homeland Security will conduct outreach to educate the traveling public about the timeline below, and continue engagements with states to encourage compliance with REAL ID standards.
- Starting July 15, 2016, TSA, in coordination with airlines and airport stakeholders, will begin to issue web-based advisories and notifications to the traveling public.
- Starting December 15, 2016, TSA will expand outreach at its airport checkpoints through signage, handouts, and other methods.
- Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight. To check whether your state is compliant or has an extension, click here. Passengers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is compliant with REAL ID (or a state that has been issued an extension) will still be able to use their driver’s licenses or identification cards.
- Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.