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New ID rules at the airport are pushed back to 2020

  • All 50 states are now compliant with Real ID or have an extension to become compliant, which means passengers can continue to use their driver's licenses as usual for domestic travel.
  • The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, in the wake of 9/11, to raise the security standards for state-issued driver's licenses.

Domestic air travelers have been granted an 11th-hour reprieve.

As of this week, all 50 states have met the Jan. 22 deadline to become compliant with Real ID or have an extension to do so, said Steve Yonkers, the Department of Homeland Security's director of Real ID. That means passengers can continue to use their driver's licenses at security checks for domestic flights.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every adult boarding any federally regulated aircraft — including domestic flights — will need a Real ID-compliant license or they will need to show an alternative form of identification (such as a passport, "enhanced ID," Global Entry card or other acceptable forms of ID) at security.

All states are currently in the process of implementing Real ID programs. Twenty-eight states and territories are already fully compliant and 26 have been granted extensions through Oct. 10. Just two territories, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands, are still under review for an extension, Yonkers said.

Check whether your state is compliant or has an extension

This is the final phase of an act passed by Congress in 2005, in the wake of 9/11, which aimed to raise the security standards for state-issued driver's licenses.

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