TSA checkpoint image
Image via Flickr by billypalooza

Will you still be able to pass through TSA checkpoints after the Real ID Act changes go into effect? Maybe not.

State IDs That Will Give You Trouble

If your driver’s license is issued by one of the following states, it does not currently meet the law’s stringent new requirements for encoded data. If you want to fly, even domestically, you will need a passport or other alternative ID by January 2018:

  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Washington

These nine states are currently noncompliant with the new laws, so if you are carrying an ID issued by one of them, you will have to present an alternative ID at airport checkpoints effective Jan. 22, 2018.

According to Travel Weekly, “Passports, permanent resident cards, trusted-traveler cards and military IDs are among the alternatives that the TSA will accept.”

Passport Travelers Will Be Affected

This situation is expected to cause a massive increase in passport applications. If you need to renew or apply for a passport in the next year or two, expect delays. It’s best to apply several months ahead of your expiration or travel date.


Source: TSA reminding travelers about coming changes in ID requirements: Travel Weekly


Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. Lauren has written regularly for CBS Local, WebPsychology, Hipmunk, and Hotelplanner, and has also been published in The Culture-ist, Matador, and other online and print publications.

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