Did you hear that some residents of the US will have to have passports instead of driver’s licenses to board a domestic flight starting in 2016?
Yes, you read that correctly. It seems that back in 2005 a new law called the Real ID Act, was enacted. It sets standards that U.S. driver’s licenses must meet to be considered acceptable identification for boarding a domestic flight.
Unfortunately, travelers from New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and American Samoa are not being issued licenses that comply with the requirements under the Real ID Act. Apparently, these five places don’t require proof of residency or citizenship when you apply for a driver’s license. Therefore, as of 2016, their driver’s licenses are not going to allow them to board an airplane for a domestic flight.
The Real ID Act does not change requirements for a passport for international flights.
The new rules will go into effect sometime in 2016, and there will be a three-month forgiveness period, during which people with these licenses will be warned that their IDs are no longer valid for flights. Let’s hope you get turned away from the flight from home and not the flight to return home.
If you are from one of these states, “acceptable” IDs for boarding a domestic flight will 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.
Apparently, 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 4 states, only New York and Minnesota issue enhanced licenses.
There has been no change for children under 18 years of age. They don’t need an ID when traveling with a companion who does have a valid/acceptable form of ID.
Turning Dreams into Memories,
One Vacation at a Time.
As you might guess, this document is a compilation of information from our travels as well as from other travelers. I hope it has been of value to you. Check out the important links below.
- Packing Checklist
- Parent Authorization Letter For Unaccompanied Minors
- Medical Treatment Authorization Letter
- Travel With Minors-Permission Letter
Don’t hesitate to email us when you return from your trip with any suggestions that will make this document better for you and your fellow travelers!