Will Your Travelers Be Able To Fly In 2016?

Published on Wednesday, December 30, 2015
You may need a passport to fly in 2016

Ten years ago, Congress passed the Real ID act, which requires enhanced security for identification such as drivers’ licenses. The requirements of this act have been implemented in a phased approach, and 2016 will mark the deadline for the last phase: airline travel.

Almost all states have nothing to worry about - at least immediately. Either their drivers’ licenses meet the requirements and travelers who carry these licenses can therefore board flights across the country, or their state has been granted an extension until later this year.

Travelers who hold licenses from the following states and territories may need to make alternate plans - and soon! Unless noted for an extension, these travelers from these states will need alternative ID as of January 10th:

  • American Samoa
  • California (request for extension has been filed)
  • Guam (request for extension has been filed)
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • N. Marianas (request for extension has been filed)
  • New Mexico
  • Puerto Rico (request for extension has been filed)
  • Virgin Islands (request for extension has been filed)
  • Washington

The drivers’ licenses provided by these states do not meet the requirements outlined by the Real ID act.

Minnesota and American Samoa are two to take note of. In order to comply, Minnesota would have to repeal a 2009 state law. While the governor of Minnesota has reported requested for an extension like the other states, it is not clear if one has yet been granted.

A traveler's best bet for boarding an airplane? Bring your passport!

Is the Real ID law affecting your travelers? Tell us about it in the comments below.



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