The TSA has begun rolling out signage warning travelers that driver’s licenses from nine states will no longer be valid identification for domestic flights, meaning they’ll have to use a military ID or get a passport.
The issue is with the federal government’s security standards for forms of identification. Standards which driver’s licenses from the states of Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington do not meet.
The new rules for both domestic and international flights kicks in January 22nd, 2018, but only 24 states meet the federal standards outlined by the REAL ID Act of 2005.
From a report by Travel + Leisure:
The IDs from these nine states do not meet the federal government’s minimum security standards. And, according to the REAL ID Act of 2005, federal agencies (like the TSA) are prohibited from “accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.”
In order for states to pass the government’s security standards, they must verify every ID applicant’s identity, put anti-counterfeit technology in the production of the card and conduct background checks on those who issue driver’s licenses.
State legislatures have through 2017 to adapt to the REAL ID standards, with 2020 being the final lockdown date for all travelers to have a compliant form of identification if they wish to get through any TSA checkpoint.
If you’re in one of the nine states currently not doing anything about the federal standards, you may want to look into getting a passport as soon as possible.