Photo: U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is taking advantage of the thousands of passengers passing through airport security checkpoints around the country this holiday season to warn about the coming enforcement of the Real ID Act. Unless their state governments get with the program, travelers in nine states—Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington—will need an ID other than their state-issued driver’s license in order to fly.
The signs are up in Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway, and?in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airports. They warn that the Real ID Act—which makes driver’s licenses from five states noncompliant with Homeland Security standards for boarding flights—will be enforced effective January 2018.
To meet the REAL ID Act’s standards for “secure issuance and production,” states must incorporate anti-counterfeit technology, verify an applicant’s identity and conduct background checks for employees involved in issuing licenses. If not, the act maintains, their driver's licenses do not really prove the holder's identity in an age of terrorism.?
The act was originally slated to be enforced this year, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delayed it to give states more time to become compliant and to give the TSA more time to let travelers know about the new law.
In July, TSA began issuing online advisories to the public about the act and last month, DHS issued formal memos to five states (Oklahoma, Kentucky, Maine, Pennsylvania and South Carolina) denying requests for extensions on complying.