Editor’s Note: As of January 2018, the TSA has announced it will wait until October to begin enforcing the Real ID Act.
The deadline is approaching for nine states that have yet to update state IDs in compliance with the REAL ID Act, which was passed in 2005.
As a result, residents in those nine states will have to present a valid U.S. passport — instead of a driver’s license or ID — to travel within the U.S. and beyond.
Travelers who live in the following states will be affected:
- South Carolina
Other forms of identification that will be accepted by TSA at airports for travelers living in those nine states will be a permanent resident card/green card or a military ID. Other forms of acceptable identification are listed on the official TSA website.
Some states have started working to provide residents with other forms of federally approved identification that would allow travelers to avoid ordering a passport for domestic travel, Forbes reported. Travelers are encouraged to check with local government officials for any potential options.
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Those who visit airports starting January 22 without acceptable identification will not be allowed through airport security.
The REAL ID Act came after 9/11 as an effort to ensure safer travel within the US. According to money expert Clark Howard, despite the fact that Congress passed the act 10 years ago, enforcement of the new regulations wasn’t pushed until 2013.
Some of the nine states are scrambling to update state IDs to meet compliance standards in the next three months. Budget shortages have delayed some states, including Oklahoma, from making the ID updates.
Those who live in one of the nine states that do not have TSA-compliant IDs may want to consider ordering a passport sooner rather than later. It generally takes four to six weeks to process passport orders, according to the Department of State.