Virginia, US

Oct 11 2018

Fifteen States Given Further Extension for REAL ID Driver’s License Compliance

United States

At a Glance

  • The Department of Homeland Security has granted an extension for compliance with the REAL ID Act to California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and 10 other states.
  • Driver’s licenses or ID cards issued by these states will remain acceptable for domestic air travel and other federal purposes through their extended compliance deadline.  All other U.S. states and territories are in compliance with REAL ID security standards.

The situation

The Department of Homeland Security has announced that 15 states will be given extensions to comply with the REAL ID Act’s provisions concerning security requirements for state-issued identification documents.  Driver’s licenses and IDs issued by the following states will remain acceptable for domestic air travel and other federal purposes through the relevant date:

  • Alaska, until June 1, 2019
  • California, until January 10, 2019
  • Illinois, until June 1, 2019
  • Kentucky, until August 1, 2019
  • Maine, until October 10, 2019
  • Massachusetts, until January 10, 2019
  • Minnesota, until March 1, 2019
  • Missouri, until August 1, 2019
  • Montana, until June 1, 2019
  • New Jersey, until October 10, 2019
  • Oklahoma, until October 10, 2019
  • Oregon, until October 10, 2019
  • Pennsylvania, until August 1, 2019
  • Rhode Island, until May 1, 2019
  • Virginia, until January 10, 2019


All other U.S. states and territories are in compliance with the REAL ID Act.

Which documents are acceptable identification for domestic air travel?

Air travelers in the United States must show identification that complies with the document security requirements of the REAL ID Act.  If using a state-issued driver’s license or identification card when traveling domestically:

  • The state of issuance must meet REAL ID requirements or have received an extension of time to comply.  Check the REAL ID compliance status of individual states using the Department of Homeland Security’s map.

    OR
     
  • The traveler must present an alternative form of identification, such as a valid passport or other acceptable documentation to board a domestic flight. The following documents, among others, are approved by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):
    • An unexpired U.S. or foreign passport;
    • A DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST);
    • A USCIS employment authorization document (EAD); or
    • A DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license (EDL) (even if a state’s REAL ID compliance status is under review).


For additional acceptable documents, see the TSA’s full list

Looking ahead

By October 1, 2020, all U.S. states will be required to issue driver’s licenses and state identification cards that meet REAL ID security standards.  All domestic air travelers will be required to use a REAL ID-compliant document by that deadline.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen.