Flying in 2018? Not With a Regular Driver’s License


Planning to fly somewhere in 2018? You might need more than just your driver’s license or state issued identification card. In fact, if you live in certain states that have not complied with the 2005 Real ID Act passed by Congress, you will need a second form of ID such as a passport or other acceptable form of ID. Is your state affected? What is the Real ID Act?

What States Are Affected?

Since the passage of the new ID requirements in 2005, all 50 states have had the opportunity to either comply with the new act, or ask for an extension. As of today, 4 states are not in compliance. If you live in any of the following states, you will not be allowed to fly unless you have a second acceptable form of ID.

  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana

In addition to not being able to fly with just your regular ID in these states, you also cannot enter any federal buildings, either. Therefore, if you live in one of the above states and plan to fly in 2018, or need to enter a federal building, you will need a second, valid form of ID.

There are also several states that have been granted a temporary extension. These states have until June 6, 2017 to comply otherwise they will be non-compliant.

  • Alaska
  • Kentucky
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Washington

If you are unsure about the status of your state, you can check the DHS website, which is updated with the most current information.

What is the Real ID Act?

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in an effort to curb terrorism. It is far too easy for people with bad intentions to get a fake ID and board a plane. Real ID is different from a regular ID in that it:

  • Must display full legal name
  • Gender
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Have a digital photo
  • Signature
  • Has tamper-proof or counterfeit-proof security measures

To obtain a Real ID, a person’s citizenship status must be verified. Once again, be advised that if your state is not in compliance with the Real ID Act in 2018, you will need an additional form of ID to fly or you will not be allowed to board your flight.