Passports Required for Domestic Flights Beginning in 2016-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
It’s been rumored that travelers from a number of states will need to use passports to board domestic flights because the states’ processes for issuing driver’s licenses don’t meet federal requirements.
You won’t need a passport to board domestic flights beginning in 2016, but that could eventually change for people living in some states.
Questions about passports for domestic air travel have been brought up by implementation of the Real ID Act of 2005. The measure, which was signed into law in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, created a national standard for state-issued driver’s licenses to clamp down on security.
The Real ID Act set guidelines for states to verify the identity and/or immigration status of people who apply for a driver’s license or ID card. The law also required that a number of security features be included in the physical driver’s license or ID card to prevent tampering or duplication.
As 2016 approached, four states — Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York — had reportedly failed to meet some of these new federal verification guidelines. The federal government could stoop recognizing driver’s licenses and ID cards issued by these states until national standards are met. That includes the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which oversees airport security.
But the Department of Homeland Security (which oversees TSA) said in early January 2016 that it would not require passports for domestic air travel, even if states had failed to meet Real ID guidelines:
DHS is in the process of scheduling plans for implementing REAL ID enforcement at airports. DHS will ensure that the traveling public has ample notice (at least, 120 days) before any changes are made that might affect their travel planning.
Until enforcement at the airports begins, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will continue to accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards from all states, as well other forms of acceptable identification listed on the TSA website.
So, although it could change in the future, state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards from every state is all you need to board domestic flights. In fact, TSA even allows passengers who have forgotten or lost their state-issued IDs to board flights as long as their identities can be confirmed. Click here for information about what forms of ID the TSA accepts.