DHS Might Ground Airline Passengers from Five States

Residents of five U.S. states may no longer be able to use their state issued IDs for domestic air travel, possibly starting as early as April of 2016. The five states affected by this are: Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and Washington.

These five are among the 28 states which have not yet complied with the REAL ID Act, which established certain standards for state-issued IDs, with the goal of increasing the security of those IDs and making counterfeiting more difficult. Technically, the law mandates that federal agencies do not accept identification which does not comply, but they have often chosen to give states extra time or leeway.

The Department of Homeland Security (which has authority over the REAL ID program) has previously granted numerous delays or extensions to enforcement. As before, Americans with those IDs cannot enter any federal facility that requires identification, such as a military base or federal courthouse

Most of those 28 have been granted extra time to comply, which will be in effect until June or October. The five listed above have extensions expiring January 10. Four additional states have deadlines looming, but have already applied for extensions (but have not yet received them): Alaska, California, New Jersey, and South Carolina.

The good news is that the Department of Homeland Security has stated that it will not order the Transportation Security Administration to begin enforcement at airports without 120 days’ notice. They also stated that passports and military IDs will continue to be accepted as identification for all flights.

Read more about the Department of Homeland Security’s actions regarding the REAL ID Act here: http://qz.com/586841/the-us-has-delayed-coercing-states-into-upgrading-their-drivers-licenses-again/, http://money.cnn.com/2015/12/28/technology/passport-drivers-license-airplane/index.html?sr=nfCNN123115passport-drivers-license-airplane0603PMStory, http://qz.com/586841/the-us-has-delayed-coercing-states-into-upgrading-their-drivers-licenses-again/

Read DHS’ Frequently Asked Questions concerning the REAL ID Act: http://www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs

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