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Old Sep 18, 2015, 1:24 PM
A320FAN A320FAN is offline
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Default If You’re From One of These Five States, You’ll Likely Need a Passport for a Domestic

Consider your selves fore warned about this: If You’re From One of These Five States, You’ll Likely Need a Passport for a Domestic Flight

By Samantha Shankman September 17, 2015

Driver’s licenses from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, American Samoa or New Hampshire will no longer be enough to get on a domestic commercial flight.

Starting in 2016, travelers from five U.S. states will not be able to use their driver’s licenses as ID to board domestic flights—a pretty major development considering an estimated 38 percent of Americans don’t have passports.

The standard licenses from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and American Samoa are considered “noncompliant” with the security standards outlined in the Real ID Act, which was enacted back in 2005 but is being implemented in stages. Why are these specific licenses deemed sub-par? Security officials aren’t telling. The spokesperson at the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment, as did the spokesperson at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The new rules will go into effect sometime in 2016 (the exact date has not been announced), and there will be a three-month forgiveness period, when people with these licenses will be warned that their IDs are no longer valid for flights.

Here’s the breakdown: driver’s licenses from these states can only be used when paired with an acceptable second form of ID. “Acceptable” IDs include passports and passport cards, as well as permanent resident cards, U.S. military ID, and DHS trusted traveler cards such a Global Entry and NEXUS.

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 Vermont issue enhanced licenses.

For families from these states, at least children under 18 years old do not need ID when traveling with a companion.

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