Even if you’re an American, you may need a passport to fly somewhere in the United States after Jan. 22, 2018. That’s the date the Transportation Security Administration will stop accepting driver’s licenses that don’t comply with the Real ID Act, which was passed in 2005. Nearly half of the U.S. states are up to snuff — including Wyoming, Alabama and Vermont — according to the TSA’s website, which is regularly updated.
Residents of these states can continue to board domestic flights with their driver’s license as their main form of identification. But nearly half of the U.S. states — including New York, New Jersey, California and Louisiana — aren’t in compliance. But in many cases, their requests for extensions to comply with the Real ID Act standards are under review. Residents of noncompliant states may need to present a valid passport or other form of identification even if they’re traveling within the country. Bottom line: Now is a good time to get a passport — or to make sure your current one is up to date.