Planning On Air Travel? Don’t Rely On Your Driver’s License If You’re From These States
By Ryan Velez
The REAL ID Act dates back to 2005, but the Department of Homeland Security is starting to roll out some of its new standards to actually implement the law. The changes will take effect on Jan 22, 2018, and expect more details to go forward in future months, but MSN provides one detail you will want to be ahead of the curve on: the fact that the DHS will no longer be accepting certain state-issued IDs at airports, domestic flights included.
The states in question are as follows:
To be clear, the reason why this is so is that as of right now, only 25 states are compliant with current REAL ID Act standards as of this writing. Travelers from the noncompliant states will have to show an alternative ID, such as a passport, when boarding a plane. As of right now, the states on the previous list have been given extensions to comply with the act, and day-to-day updates can be found on the DHS website.
For states that do not manage to comply in time before the act goes into practice at these airports, the Department of State will be issuing passport books (as is normally the case) and passport cards for travelers.
The passport card will not be valid for international travel, but will serve as a less expensive alternative for people who need to travel domestically. The cost is $55 for first-time applicants, and $30 for anyone who already has a passport. A passport book will cost $110 to apply for one or renew a current one, but if international travel is in your future or even something that you would like to do, you’re better off going through the trouble to get the book.
Find that you’re from one of the states in question and want to be prepared? Need to renew your passport book soon? The Department of State recommends that you hop on things now. During September through December, wait times are lower, meaning that you can get your passport quicker.