Getting through TSA at the airport has already become a major roadblock when traveling. Often having to plan at least an hour in advance just to get through the sometimes enormous lines, TSA checks have become a major factor when traveling by plane. Unluckily for eight American states, residents will be unable to use their standard driver’s license or state issued license to be verified by the TSA.
Due to a lack of the minimum required security levels found in Montana, Missouri, Washington, South Carolina, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, TSA has required an alternate form of identification to be presented by residents of these states. Alternate forms of identification, such as passports or p ermanent resident IDs, will be necessary for residents flying from these states after January 22, 2018.
TSA has begun to put up signs informing people traveling of these new laws going into effect in early 2018. This means residents of these eight states will need to ensure their passports or alternative IDs are renewed prior to the change occurring in 2018.
The product of the “Real ID Act” signed in 2005, federal organizations are prohibited from “accepting for certain purposes’s driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.” For short, since the eight states listed above do not meet the minimum safety standards, residents require another form of ID which does meet the requirements.
That being said, other states are not far off from the same fate. Although only the eight states listed above will definitely require the extra identification method, seventeen other states still need to meet ID standards to reach compliance with the federal regulations. Among these states, five have been granted limited extensions to meet compliance by mid 2017. California is among these five states, and will have to adjust it’s ID standards to avoid requiring alternate ID for their flying residents.
Luckily, states that show a regular progress for meeting the federal guidelines will be able to receive extensions on their ID reform programs, meaning they can continue to use standard IDs for TSA despite not entirely meeting the requirements. As stated by the Department of Homeland Security, “Extensions are granted for a maximum of one year and may be renewed if a state demonstrates continued progress towards compliance.”
Hopefully keeping states and residents informed on the matter will prevent any unforeseen problems regarding upcoming travel plans. Although these changes may be an obstacle for now, staying ahead of the curve will ensure residents bring the required identification to board their flights.