Citizens from certain states may not be able to board planes after 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has recently announced the enforcement of the Real ID act passed by Congress in 2005. The act sets security standards for the issuance of identifications including driver’s licenses. There are still states and territories that have not complied with the act including Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, and Washington. Originally all states were supposed to be compliant by 2008 but an extension was given and now they plan to enforce it.

A non-compliant form of ID

A non-compliant form of ID

Enforcement of phase 4 which includes boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft is set to start in 2016 meaning that a second form of ID, for example a passport, would have to be used from residents of a non-compliant state.

In Kentucky, licenses are issued at the 145 Circuit County court locations rather than though a central state agency which has slowed the adoption.

For all states, there is also need from new technology that recognizes if an existing face is already in the database.

In the end, will the Department of Homeland Security really start to enforce this? It seems by publishing a timetable with phased and deadlines that this may finally push the remaining states to adopt the new regulations and if they continue to choose to delay, it could cause the citizens of their states to have to have a second form of identification to fly.


  1. Did you really mean to post an actual person’s driver license without blurring out personal information?

  2. Yellow journalism school headline. Passports work (you mentioned) and so do GOES cards and CACs.

    You usually do better.

  3. @Steve – I think that the majority of people in the US don’t have a passport. Therefore the major form of ID, the driver’s license, may be unusable in 2016. Will it actually happen? Hard to tell who will blink first, the states or the Homeland Security.

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