Homeland Security extends deadline yet again
It was 2005 when REAL ID became law. The legislation aimed to bring uniformity and standardization to driver licenses. It wasn’t popular among states and many viewed it as an unfunded mandate. During the past decade many states made efforts to comply with REAL ID while others passed legislation stating they would not.
The start of 2016 saw many media reports about states and citizens that wouldn’t be able to use their driver license to enter a federal building or get on an airplane. These reports were focused around six states and territories – Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Washington, and American Samoa – which are noncompliant and do not have extensions.
There are 23 states fully compliant with REAL ID, and Homeland Security – the agency responsible for overseeing the law’s administration — has granted 27 states extensions when they have demonstrated steps toward compliance.
But now all states have until January 22, 2018 to become compliant, according to a statement from Sec. Jeh C. Johnson
Johnson also unveiled the final phase of implementation of the REAL ID Act, which relates to commercial air travel. These are the timelines for that final phase:
- Effective immediately, Homeland Security will conduct outreach to educate the traveling public about the timeline and continue engagements with states to encourage compliance with REAL ID standards.
- Starting July 15, 2016, TSA, in coordination with airlines and airport stakeholders, will begin to issue web-based advisories and notifications to the traveling public.
- Starting December 15, 2016, TSA will expand outreach at its airport checkpoints through signage, handouts, and other methods.
- Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act — and has not been granted an extension — will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.
- Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.
Read Re:ID’s feature on REAL ID that appeared in the Fall issue.