Millions of air travelers across the U.S. are potentially at risk of finding themselves grounded in the new year thanks to a post-9/11 law that took a decade to finally come into effect.
The REAL ID Act, originally passed in 2005, was meant to tighten standards for government-issued IDs like driver’s licenses — to boot, it banned federal agencies from accepting any IDs that don’t meet the bar.
That means the TSA technically shouldn’t accept driver’s licenses from certain states, once the law is in full effect. While Washington let the rules slide for years, the Department of Homeland Security could start to enforce them in 2016 and is pushing states to comply.
And that has the potential to cause confusion, not to mention headaches at the airport — as many states are still not in full compliance, and different states are operating on different timetables . . .
DHS is enforcing the legislation in stages. Currently, it is only requiring the enhanced IDs for access to federal facilities. Some states have extensions, but those are set to expire next year — in January, June and October, depending on the state. (Read more from “Terminal Confusion? DHS Push Could Make Some IDs Invalid for Flying” HERE)