Real ID Suddenly Feels More Real

by Cheryl Rosen
Real ID Suddenly Feels More Real

Photo: TSA


Yes, Virginia, with step one of Real ID enforcement having begun Feb. 1, and a tough new administration in Washington, it may just be possible that your driver’s license will not be accepted for air travel a year from now.  

Under a new tough-talking president and his new administration, the opposition to the Real ID Act appears to be crumbling. For the past year, the Department of State has been reminding eight states and their travelers that their drivers’ licenses do not meet federal requirements, and that in exactly one year from now they will not be accepted as identification for travelers trying to board international flights. 

But even as TMR reported the story over the past months, no one seemed to really believe it would ever come to that. Citing the high cost of changing their drivers’ licenses to a more secure technology, many states have gotten extensions to the deadline. And indeed, some vowed to not comply at all, opposing the collection of more data on those applying for driver’s licenses as a violation of their citizen’s rights to privacy, and a veiled attempt to identify illegal immigrants.

But effective February 1, the first step in the Real ID took effect; Americans in states whose driver’s licenses are not compliant ca no longer use them as ID to gain entrance to nuclear power plants, air force bases or other military installations. 

And suddenly, lawmakers seem to be changing their tune. 

In Minnesota, a state Senate Committee on Tuesday moved to authorize the switch to Real ID-compliant drivers’ licenses, and local press quoted airport officials saying airlines are reluctant to sign contracts in Minnesota, and leisure travelers may already be staying away. 

“Between the TSA wait lines and parking and those challenges that they have already, you throw this into the mix and I’m not sure if they have the right ID,” said Mitch Killian, of the Minnesota Airports Commission. “We are convinced that we are already seeing passengers choosing not to travel because of the challenges that are out there.”

In Maine, Governor LePage said he is urging the legislature to pass a bill to put the state in compliance with the federal Real ID Act despite a state law that specifically prohibits it.

"We should adopt it; we should have Real ID," the governor said. "Do I like what the federal government is doing with the additional intrusion in our lives? No. But at the same time, I think it came about because of what happened on 9/11. So you've got to weigh the pros and cons. And keeping the country safe is really important."

  1
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Top Places for Retirees to Visit in 2018

1. Chicago

2. Orlando

3. Denver

4. Las Vegas

5. Phoenix

Source: Business Insider

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=83167fb0-72a4-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Ship Inspections Lead to Confident Sellers of Travel and a Better Match for Travelers

Travel agents who want to ensure their clients are booked on the right sailing rely on ship inspections for first-hand knowledge, topping brochures any day.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
The Best Way to Sell Adventure Travel? Experience It for Yourself
The Best Way to Sell Adventure Travel? Experience It for Yourself

Travel Market Report talks to Discover Outdoors to dispel the myth of adventure travel and hear more about this growing market segment.

Northern California Slowly Getting Back to Business After Historic Fires
Northern California Slowly Getting Back to Business After Historic Fires

As communities assess the damage and begin to pick up the pieces, travel officials are encouraging travelers to support the area by keeping their travel plans and visiting the region.

Apple Leisure Group Reaches Out to Travel Agents
Apple Leisure Group Reaches Out to Travel Agents

In an interview with TMR, the newly combined vacation packaging giant candidly responds to concerns voiced by the retail marketplace.

First Look: Universal Orlando’s New Aventura Hotel
First Look: Universal Orlando’s New Aventura Hotel

The property, which is a first both for its features and its price point, opens its doors this week and features Orlando’s first rooftop bar and lounge.

Experts Say MGM’s New Resort Fee Might Be Good for Travel Agents
Experts Say MGM’s New Resort Fee Might Be Good for Travel Agents

As a recent study charts the growth of resort fees, a new roll-out of mandatory fees on the Vegas strip may backfire for the hotel industry.

USTOA’s Terry Dale Looks Back and Ahead
USTOA’s Terry Dale Looks Back and Ahead

While the association continues its original mission of helping travelers distinguish between reliable tour operators and scam artists, it’s forward-looking initiative focuses on sustainability and limiting the impact of overtourism.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line