Stop worrying: TSA will accept your driver’s license

Sea-Tac security line

Rumors – and plenty of misinformation – have been flying around about the REAL ID Act – passed by Congress in attempt to prevent the fraudulent issuance and use of driver’s licenses and identification cards – and whether or not the TSA would soon stop accepting driver’s licenses as an acceptable form of identification at airports.

Part of the problem was that the Department of Homelands Security was dragging its heels about setting up a definite timetable for implementing the air travel part of the act.

But the agency finally issued a statement with some set dates.

On its website DHS now says that driver’s licenses issued by all states will be accepted as valid forms of ID until January 22, 2018.

So relax. You – and the states where driver’s licenses don’t yet comply with the national standards – have two years to work this out.

After January 22, 2018, DHS says:

Passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.

Passengers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that is compliant with REAL ID (or a state that has been issued an extension) will still be able to use their driver’s licenses or identification cards.

And, starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.

“Right now, no individual needs to adjust travel plans, or rush out to get a new driver’s license or a passport for domestic air travel,” said secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson in announcing the timetable.

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