Tags: Homeland Security | tsa | driver | license | airport | id

TSA May Stop Accepting Travelers' Licenses at Airports in 2 Years

Image: TSA May Stop Accepting Travelers' Licenses at Airports in 2 Years

By    |   Saturday, 09 Jan 2016 02:37 PM

Two years from now, the TSA may not accept some states' drivers' licenses as identification at the nation's airports, after the department of Homeland Security set a hard deadline on the some 30 states and territories that still remain out of compliance with federal law.

Before the latest updates, the department told states it would begin cracking down on their identifications no sooner than 2016, but the latest deadline extends that period for another two years, reports Politico.

Out of the 30 states and territories, just five states — Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Washington — along with American Samoa, have not yet gotten extensions that could help them meet the guidelines past Jan. 22, 2018, However, the other states and territories that are out of compliance have been given until Oct. 1, 2020 before their residents have trouble using their drivers' licenses as airport identification.

The DHS later this month will start an outreach campaign to educate travelers about the deadline, and the TSA plans to exhbit signs and distribute handouts at airport checkpoints to let customers know more about the looming deadline. Jonathan Grella, the U.S. Travel Association's executive vice president of public affairs, said having the hard deadline will be a relief for travelers.

"Rendering many Americans’ drivers’ licenses insufficient for travel would obviously have a chilling effect on our economy and way of life, but we’re hopeful and confident that states and the federal government will solve these issues well before sending us over that precipice," Grelia told Politico.

DHS said that as for now, "no individual needs to adjust their travel plans," and passports will always be considered as valid identification.

But Andrew Meehan, a policy director at the nonprofit Keeping IDentities Safe, says this latest deadline stretches the department's credibility, and "they've really done some incredible damage" when it comes to enforcing deadlines.

"How are states not getting this done in 10 years," said Meehan, whose group is seeking full implementation for the federal Real ID law. "How are states not getting this done in ten years? How is that not the question?”

The law, passed in 2005, requires drivers' license applicants to undergo added verification methods, including face recognition scans, immigration checks, and cross references for Social Security numbers.

But with so many states and territories left to comply on the law, TSA screeners have no choice but to allow travelers through, or risk even more confusion at the nation's airport security lines as people are turned away.

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Two years from now, the TSA may not accept some states' drivers' licenses as identification at the nation's airports, after the department of Homeland Security set a hard deadline on the some 30 states and territories that still remain out of compliance with federal...
tsa, driver, license, airport, id
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2016-37-09
Saturday, 09 Jan 2016 02:37 PM
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