Things keep popping up in my news feed about driver’s licenses. A friend who’d moved from Tennessee to Arizona was surprised that her new Arizona-issued license bore the ominous phrase “Not For Federal Identification.” A friend who lived in Kentucky was shocked to be told she could be turned away from boarding a flight.
In case you missed it, the REAL ID Act was passed (in 2005) in the wake of the 9/11 report. It established minimum standards that states must follow when issuing and producing driver’s licenses and ID cards. (A REAL ID credential can either be an ID card or a driver’s license.)
Some states just haven’t gotten around to making these changes to the way they issue driver’s licenses/IDs. And if you’ve been renewing online or through the mail, the license you have may not be compliant with federal regulations.
Here are some links that will help you get a handle on the situation:
All of this is important because, as you know, you must show your driver’s license or state ID in order to board a plane.
Trust me when I say you don’t need any trouble from the authorities right now. Make sure your driver’s license is good for federal ID as well as for driving. Even if the chart I’ve linked above indicates your state is in compliance, you may still be carrying an “old” license. Take a ride down to your local Department of Motor Vehicles office and find out for sure. Make sure you have alternate forms of identification with you when you go.
The REAL ID Act takes effect on 22 January 2018.
Do do it now and get it out of the way. Don’t wait until you’re about to leave for the Bahamas next Christmas.