The TSA Will Continue to Accept Driver’s Licenses From All 50 States in 2018

Dec 28, 2017

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Update 12/28/17: The TSA has reached out to clarify that only IDs issued by compliant states can be used until 2020. IDs issued by states with extensions are valid until October 11, 2018.


Frequent flyers and credit cardholders have a list of deadlines to keep in mind if they’re hoping to take full advantage of their benefits — and earn or retain elite status — before the end of the year. But several US states have had a looming travel-related deadline of their own to deal with, too, and it’s created a fair amount of buzz within non-compliant states.

The issue at hand is that a handful of US states currently issue driver’s licenses that don’t meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act. Therefore, the TSA previously announced that without an approved extension, it would no longer accept those documents for identity verification as of January 22, 2018. This has been indicated by signage at checkpoints throughout the United States.

As of this writing, three states — Louisiana, Michigan and New York — are still listed as “under review,” as you can see below. But as Gary Leff reports, according to Sacramento-based KCRA and confirmed with TPG, TSA spokesman Mike England clarified that individuals with driver’s licenses issued by all 50 states will be able to continue to use those IDs at TSA checkpoints until October 1, 2020, as the remaining three states have been granted exceptions as well.

So, that’s the end of the line for this latest TSA drama. I imagine we’ll start hearing about non-compliant IDs as we approach that new October 1, 2020 deadline, but states now have nearly three years to get their documents in line with federal requirements. And even if they continue to fall behind, residents will still be able to travel with a handful of other IDs.

Featured image by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images.

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