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January 8, 2018

Americas: Don’t Panic: Domestic Flyers Won’t Be Turned Away for Old Driver’s Licenses

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The Department of Homeland Security has some good news this week for domestic travelers from some of the states that have yet to introduce new driver’s licenses in compliance with REAL ID, the new identification standard. The previous deadline for compliance was January 22, this year. Back in December 2017, the TSA had issued a warning to domestic flyers from Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington that drivers licenses would no longer be acceptable to airport security and issued a list of other IDs travelers should use to verify their identities. However, this week, the TSA confirmed that travelers from the states listed above will still be allowed on to domestic flights without additional forms of identification until October 11, 2018.

Travelers concerned about getting the appropriate ID before the deadline should not panic. Steve Yonkers, director of Identity and Credentialing/REAL ID Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, says, “Although the states with extensions will have those extensions expire after October 10, 2018, that in no way implies that enforcement would begin the very next day.  In fact, DHS has provided grace periods from enforcement over the last few years for approximately 90 days. We anticipate providing the same type of grace period for this year.” 

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