The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is notifying travelers via signs posted at airports that effective January 22, 2018, it will start enforcing REAL ID requirements at airport security checkpoints. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this means that travelers seeking to use their state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards for boarding commercial aircraft may only use such documents if they are issued by a REAL ID-compliant state or a non-compliant state with an extension.
TSA’s notification follows former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s announcement in 2016 of the final phase of implementation of the REAL ID Act. DHS noted that as always, travelers may use alternate forms of identification such as a passport, military ID, or permanent resident card.
The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes the minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for certain official purposes, including boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, from states that do not meet these minimum standards and have not received an extension for compliance from DHS.
DHS said it continues to work with states to encourage compliance and may grant extensions or determine compliance for additional states as warranted. TSA said it will update signage if and when states that are currently listed receive extensions.
The DHS announcement is at https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/12/12/tsa-notify-travelers-upcoming-2018-real-id-airport-enforcement. Former Secretary Johnson’s announcement is at https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/01/08/statement-secretary-jeh-c-johnson-final-phase-real-id-act-implementation. A complete list of identification documents accepted at TSA checkpoints is at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification. An interactive map showing the current REAL ID status of states and territories is at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief.