Are you aware that recent federal laws have changed what documents are acceptable for identification?
If you are like most travelers, probably not! Sure, you might know that a passport is now required for all international flights, and at a minimum the Enhanced Drivers License is required for Sea and Land crossings to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean countries.
However, many of you use a drivers license as proof of your identification just about everywhere, including while traveling. Are you aware that for a number of states, your drivers license is currently not accepted as identification in many federal facilities, and in the near future WILL NOT be accepted for use in travel aboard commercial aircraft! It could also prevent one from touring the White House, a Dam, Nuclear facility, or other locations requiring ID clearance.
How did this happen?
Following the events of 9/11, the Federal Government put into place tiered identification policies, which restricted what types of identification could be used to access facilities that needed high security or if exploited, were a risk to the public. As part of that effort, the government began the process to require all states to issue driver licenses that had to meet 31 specifications for security.
Called REAL ID, these drivers licenses would be accepted by the federal government for access to facilities, and those that were not up to the Real ID standard, would be excluded in phases. In 2016, non-compliant drivers licenses will be excluded as a form of identification when boarding commercial aircraft. For some, this includes Enhanced Drivers Licenses from the affected states!
Whom does this apply?
Currently, the following states/territories DO NOT have licenses that meet the federal standard: