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In the past decade, there has been more and more airport security and as of Jan 15, 2013, they are getting a bit stricter.  The hijackers who took down 4 planes in the 9/11 attacks used a total of 30 state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards and after that new laws were enacted to require using the REAL ID- a more stringent, and less forgeable, driver’s license.

Real ID Act of 2005, passed as part of recommendations made by the 9/11 Commission, is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 15. Many states have not yet met the standards the act requires of state driver’s licenses when used as identification when flying

Posted in Travel Weekly online magazine

Some travelers might discover that the driver’s licenses they’ve been using to get through airport security won’t be an acceptable form of identification after Jan. 15.

The states that may not be in compliance by January 15, are:

  • Alaska
  • Idaho
  •  Louisiana
  • Maine
  •  Massachusetts
  • Montona
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Washington

There are likely others, so you do need to check that your driver’s license is compliant.

That means that when the final standards go into effect — and implementation has already been delayed at least three times — people carrying cards from noncompliant states will have to go through additional screening.

The Department of Homeland Security does not prohibit travelers from boarding flights without ID, but they do require such travelers to go through secondary screening.

To be compliant, driver’s licenses must have overt, covert and forensic security features. Overt would be something visible to the naked eye, such as a watermark. Covert would be something readable only by machine or with a magnifying glass. And forensic would be something embedded in a card that would show whether the card had been tampered with.

The government has already delayed the deadline a number of times, and My Vacation Lady will keep you posted when we hear more.

Our suggestion:

If you are in one of the states that will not be compliant or think you might be, as a precaution, just use your passport, even if you are flying from New York to Florida, California or Hawaii for your vacation or honeymoon.