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How Homeland Security’s REAL ID Act Affects Your Business Travel

Update (12/28/17):

According to the TSA, your old driver’s license will still work if you are flying domestic through October 1, 2020 even though federal signs in airports tell a different story.


Original Post:

If you’ve flown recently, you’ve probably noticed the signs posted at airports everywhere announcing that January 22, 2018 is the deadline for the TSA to start enforcing the REAL ID Act. You’re probably wondering what the REAL ID Act is. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the REAL ID Act “establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.” So how does this new deadline affect you? Here are four tips to ensure you’re in compliance:

  1. As of January 22, 2018, you must show the TSA a state-issued driver’s license or identification card that is issued from a REAL ID-compliant state, or a non-compliant state with an extension. (The “non-compliant state with an extension” simply means that the state’s compliance has run out, they’ve reapplied and have been granted an extension.) Compliant states include: NV, UT, AZ, NM, CO, WY, SD, NE, KS, TX, IA, AR, WI, MS, AL, GA, FL, TN, NC, WV, OH, IN, VT and CT. Non-compliant states with an extension include: CA, OR, ID, WA, MT, ND, MN, OK, KY, SC, VA, PA, NJ, MA, NH, ME, IL. States still under review who have reapplied but are not official yet include: LA, MO, MI, NY and RI. There are no states officially “not compliant.”
  2. If you do not have a state-issued driver’s license, your options are showing the TSA a passport, a military ID or a permanent resident card.
  3. If your driver’s license is non-compliant and you cannot provide optional identification, you will not be permitted through the security checkpoint.
  4. Children under age 18 accompanied by a companion with an acceptable identification do not need to provide their separate identification.

If you are from a non-compliant state, you may be wondering why this is the case. While we can’t give you a solid answer on that, non-compliant states’ legislative nuances may have somehow obstructed completing compliance in a timely fashion. States are not obligated to become compliant, but for the sake of their constituents, it’s logical they do so.

If you already build in extra time for potential travel snafus, you might want to add a good 10 minutes onto that buffer to allow for the confused travelers who are likely not ready for the January 22nd deadline and will be arguing with the TSA agents.

If you have specific questions about your REAL ID, you can ask your knowledgeable AmTrav representative, or send them directly to the Department of Homeland Security at


By: Denise D.

Tags :airportshomeland securityreal idreal id actTSA

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