Passport Card Satisfies Real ID Act
Travelers concerned about whether a driver’s license or other state-issued identification card will be accepted at the airport for a domestic flight can rest easy – for now.
The Department of Homeland Security has granted all states that are not yet in compliance with the REAL ID Act an extension until Oct. 10. That means travelers from all states can continue to use their driver’s licenses, whether or not they meet REAL ID standards. States that have extensions are Alaska, California, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. The others are already fully compliant.
But with another deadline looming, it’s a good idea to learn about what other forms of ID are acceptable to get through security at the airport, if you’re flying from a non-compliant state with an extension. While everyone is aware of a passport book, some travelers may not realize that there’s a cheaper alternative. A wallet-size passport card fulfills some, but not all, of the functions of a passport book.
A passport card meets the requirements of the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 and designed to improve security and prevent identification fraud. The Transportation Security Administration will accept it as identification for domestic air travel. While it cannot be used as an ID for international air travel, a passport card can be used to enter the United States by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.
Real ID Act Update
For more specific information about your state: