Real ID Act – Find Out if Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois Driver’s Licenses Get You on Domestic Flights in 2016
Planning a trip to the beach in 2016? Maybe you're finally making that trip to Las Vegas. Or perhaps your job requires the use of air travel for business. Whatever the case, depending on where you live in the Tri-State, your state-issued driver's license may not be enough to get you on board the flight.
Beginning January 10th, the Department of Homeland Security will begin enforcing the final phase of the Real ID Act, a 10-year-old law passed by Congress in 2005 based on a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission that "the Federal Government set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” Long story short, in the wake of the September 11th attacks, the Federal Government wanted states to produce IDs that weren't easy to counterfeit, so they implemented a set of standards requiring states to upgrade their driver's licenses and identification cards to include things like watermarks, bar codes, etc.
For those of us that live in Indiana, we're good to go. The state has met the requirement so fly away!
Kentucky residents are also good to go — for now. The state has not fully met the requirements yet, but were granted an extension by the Federal Government, giving them until October 10th of 2016 to get there. So between now and then, Kentuckians are free to fly anywhere in the states with just their driver's license or identification card.
Illinois residents are the odd people out. The state has neither met the minimum requirements, nor have they been granted an extension until they do. What does that mean? According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), those residents will need a secondary form of ID along with their driver's license or ID if they want to catch a flight.