Do you have a drivers license from Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York or American Samoa? If so, you’ll need a passport to get on a US domestic flight sometime in 2016 (exact dates have yet to be announced).
Why? According to the Real ID Act, these states drivers licenses’ are considered non-compliant with its security regulations because they do not require proof of residency or citizenship to obtain.
The Real ID Act was established in 2005 after 9/11 to help protect US citizens. The Department of Homeland Security has been enforcing the Real ID Act in a phased plan since 2013.
There will be a 3-month grace period to obtain alternate identification for flights, so don’t panic just yet. TSA states that acceptable IDs will include but aren’t limited to:
- U.S. Military IDs
- Permanent resident cards
- Passports and passport cards
- DHS trusted traveler cards (i.e. FAST, Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI)
According to Yahoo Travel, “The TSA will also accept Enhanced Driver’s Licenses, the kind that are currently used to replace passports for travel to and from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Of the noncompliant states, only New York and Minnesota issue enhanced licenses.”