You have hopefully noticed the many informative signs in the airports regarding driver’s licenses. If you haven’t, major changes are coming to the commercial aircraft’s security standards that you should be aware of. Called the REAL ID Act, travelers will see the most change by potentially needing different documentation to board aircrafts in the United States. For a larger overview, read our original REAl ID Act blog post here. Now, new extensions for some states are shifting the deadlines.

What’s happening?

The REAl ID Act is an update in security standards for many federal facilities. It has been in the process of updating various minimum security standards for power plants, federal buildings and others for the past 12 years. Now entering its final phase, the focus is on federally regulated commercial aircrafts. Travelers may only board the plane with the approved forms of documentation. Compliance by states is voluntary – meaning it is the responsibility of the individual states to update their driver’s licenses and identification cards to be within the standards set by the REAL ID Act.

As of January 22, 2018, the new REAL ID Act protocols will be instituted in all United States airports. States must update their driver’s licenses by this date, or their residents will not be able to use them to board aircrafts. Many states have already updated their processes. Now, many states have extensions until October 10, 2018 to fully comply.

Can you use your driver’s licenses to board commercial aircrafts?

The Department of Homeland Security continually updates their website as the information changes.  Go to their website, or use the infographic attached below to find the information regarding your state. Most states have already updated their driver’s licenses and identification cards to comply with the new standards. Some are still in the process of updating, with an approved extension to complete the task.real-id-act

  • States in green have already complied to the new standards. Travelers with driver’s licenses from these states can be used to board federal commercial aircrafts.
  • States in yellow have already applied for an extension in  the process. These states now have until October 10, 2018 to update their security standards. Travelers with identification from these states will still be able to use their IDs while traveling through October 10, 2018.
  • A few states, seen in blue are still under review for an extension. Their IDs are currently not compliant, and they need more time than the January 22, 2018 deadline to make this update. You may need to bring additional forms of documentation, such as a passport.

Continue to check the Homeland Security website for updates, or additional blogs or social media posts from Christopherson Business Travel. If you are a current client, contact your account manager if you have additional questions.

Kathleen Roberts

Kathleen Roberts

Kathleen Roberts is the Vice President of Business Development and passionate about providing innovative solutions for corporate travel programs. She is a member of GBTA and Utah GBTA, as well as a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) and Global Travel Professional (GTP). In addition to being a travel addict she finds joy in a good game of basketball. Connect with Kathleen on LinkedIn.

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