How to Replace Non-Compliant State ID's Affected by the Real ID Act

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Starting October 20, 2018, residents of states impacted by the Real ID Act will need to update their identification to a TSA approved ID to fly any commercial flight, domestic or international. The states involved have all failed to issue a drivers license or state ID that is compliant with the Real ID Act.

Residents of the states caught up in the Act’s implementation will need to supply an alternative, TSA-approved form of ID as of October 20, 2018, such as a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, DHS trusted traveler card or U.S. military ID. You can find a list of approved ID's on the TSA website.

Real-ID-Notice
The Department of Homeland Security has extended the Real ID Act cutoff date from January 22 to October 20, 2018.

Drivers Licenses and Select State ID's No Longer Valid From October 2018

The Real ID Act was initially passed over a decade ago in 2005 following the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government set uniform national standards for state and federal ID’s such as drivers licenses. The Department of Homeland Security, however, didn’t release a concrete implementation timetable until January 2016, starting with initial public outreach and education in the form of in-airport signage and handouts.

The deadline for states to comply with the Real ID Act expired on October 10, 2017, but after reviewing extension requests from the states involved, the DHS has backflipped on its initial January 2018 deadline, extending the deadline out to the new date of October 20, 2018. There remain a few states under review, but at this stage, it's highly unlikely the DHS will pull the pin on those states, and an extension will be granted.

Drivers licenses and state ID from any state not granted an extension by the DHS will no longer be valid at check-in from the Jan 22 deadline, and residents will need to show an alternative, TSA-approved form of ID to board their flight.

TSA-Real-ID-Approved-States-Map
The states shown in blue are still under review and will be updated on the TSA website as applications are processed.

What Can Residents Do to Prepare for the Changes?

The most important thing for residents of these states to address is to organize an alternative form of ID. If the DHS rejects your state’s application, and no extension granted past October 2018, you will need alternative ID to cross state borders. The TSA provides a list of ID they will accept online, but the most common and accessible are:

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
  • Permanent resident card

Children under 18 are not required to provide identification documents when traveling with a companion within the United States.

How to Obtain a DHS Trusted Traveller Card for Free

One of the fastest ways to comply with the new regulations, without having to get a passport to fly domestically, is obtaining a DHS trusted traveler card. Expedited security programs like Global Entry, TSA Pre✓®, NEXUS, and SENTRI provide a DHS approved Trusted Traveler card, accepted in place of your state ID or drivers license when the new regulations come into force. And the best part? Some of our favorite credit cards offer complimentary Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® membership:

CardCredit Frequency
Chase Sapphire Reserve®4 years
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card4 years
The Platinum Card® from American Express4 years
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express4 years
United℠ Explorer Card4 years
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card4 years
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card4 years
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®5 years
Citi Prestige® Card5 years
U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card4 years
TravElite American Express® Card5 years
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card4 years
PenFed Pathfinder Rewards American Express® Card5 years
HSBC Premier World Mastercard® credit card5 years - TSA Pre✓® only
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard® credit card5 years - TSA Pre✓® only

The majority of these cards also offer travel credits, some form of lounge access, extensive travel insurances, and a host of other benefits that more than justify the annual fee.

If you want more details on the expedited security programs, we’ve put together a post covering the airlines and airports participating in TSA Pre✓®, along with some details on the cards offering Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® credits, to help travelers decide which card best suits their individual needs.

Final Thoughts

Situations like these can be frustrating. Due to the inaction of state governments involved, resident's will need to get another form of TSA approved ID to travel interstate, an unnecessary waste of time and money. An easy solution, however, is to utilize the Global Entry/TSA Pre✓® credit on the cards listed above to get a DHS Trusted Traveler Card.

This just seems like a game of chicken, and the TSA is flinching at every opportunity. Do we think the TSA is going to prevent all New Yorkers from traveling? No. With a national population estimate of over 323,000,000, do we think that the #3 (NY), #5 (Illinois) and #9 (Michigan) most populous states, which comprise over 10% of the total population, are going to be prevented from boarding a plane? Not. A. Chance.

Regardless, if you've got an opportunity to pick up a trusted traveler card at no cost, it'd be foolish to leave it on the table!

How to Replace Non-Compliant State ID’s Affected by the Real ID Act
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Comments

  • I’m curious if mine will work. My state is compliant, but my license is an old version of the license that was obtained before the compliant version came out, yet my license doesn’t expire until 2022.

  • Somehow I feel like they’ll never actually “pull the plug”. I think they’ll just keep granting extensions until everyone is compliant.

  • Or you could just wait it out, without going through the hassle of getting that trusted traveler card. Let the agency’s play chicken for a while longer.

  • One of the rare occasions I’m happy to live in my state. 😉

  • National ID cards. Problem solved.

  • Thanks for bringing this up. Hadn’t heard of this till now. These are the times we live in. Can’t go anywhere without your papers.

  • I believe that State issued ID”s will always be valid to get through TSA check points.

  • I’m fully “papered” so I’m not worried, thank goodness.

  • very annoying, this should be worked out first between the DMV (or ID issuing agency) and TSA.

  • Map shows my state to be compliant (NM), but that’s only for newer DLs. Older ones (like mine) won;t be compliant. The issue is casing some confusion here because the paperwork requirements to get a new, compliant DL are very detailed, unlike the normal DL renewal process.

  • I’m glad I’ve got Global Entry. It seems from this article that it might be useful for domestic travel in additional to international travel.

  • This is absolute insanity. Either pull the plug or don’t. Keeping people in limbo is absurd.

  • This is good information. I can’t imagine the chaos that will ensue if TSA ever decides to enforce this at airport screening checkpoints. So many people completely ignore warnings about rules such as this, even if it is well advertised, then freak out when the regulation is enforced. I’d particularly hate to be in Orlando Airport the first day TSA questions state drivers licenses.

  • This is rather annoying for those states that don’t meet the requirement. Hope this gets worked out soon.

  • How long have they been talking about this now? Extensions keep being granted. I am of the camp that this will never be implemented.

  • This is good to know. Thanks for the info.

  • Good to know that states were given an even longer extension and that there are other travel benefits for these credit cards. Thanks for the update.

  • My Drivres License was up for renewal in NY, just did it today wasted about 1/2 hour in and out og DMV, got the “enhanced Driver license” and its valid for 8 years (GE is only for 5 years) bring your birth certificate , SS card, utility bill, current DL. and payment, Done

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