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Reminder: You May Need a Passport to Fly Now If You Live in These States

Alix Langone
Some driver's licenses won't be sufficient.

Yet another aspect of airport security is being tightened now.

Starting Monday, in order to board domestic flights using a driver’s license, all Americans must have a license that meets new, higher security standards.

A law called the Real ID Act now requires all states and U.S. territories to adhere to stricter security measures for issuing state licenses (the law was passed by Congress in 2005 in an effort to strengthen national security).

While all states are now either in compliance or were given an extension, it is probably a good idea to bring your passport with you when you fly to avoid any issues at the airport. All state licenses are still valid for driving and voting even if they are not yet up to date with the new regulations.

If you live in a state that is already in compliance with the law, you can still use your current license to board domestic flights. Those states include:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington, D.C.
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

And if you live in a state that is not yet compliant with the law, but was approved for an extension from the government, you can still use your current license. But you will need to order a new license before Oct. 10, 2020 if you want to use the ID to fly. These are the states that were granted an extension:

  • Alaska
  • American Samoa (ext. still under review)
  • California
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina
  • Virgin Islands
  • Virginia
  • Washington

If you still don’t have a new license by 2020, you can use another form of acceptable identification, like your passport, to fly domestically.