New Driver’s Licenses

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: October 6, 2015

The airports in your state may no longer accept your Driver’s License as a form of identification to fly away to your destination…

Yes, we agree…

Traveling can already be stressful and a hassle now that the rules of TSA have become more strict…

And now you’ll need a passport… (some of you are relieved because your picture is more flattering in the other ID 😉 )

As an article in put it “ If Steven Spielberg were to stop you on the street next year and invite you to star in his movie on the condition that leave right now for the airport without stopping at home, your opportunity at fame and fortune would be squandered if you happened to be a resident of New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Louisiana, or American Samoa.”

So Arizona breathe easily… for now….

At some point in 2016—the precise date hasn’t yet been announced—driver’s licenses from those states will no longer be considered sufficient to clear airport security and board an airplane..

Here’s the reason for the change in the above states: The result of the Real ID act, passed by Congress in 2005 as a counterterrorism measure to standardize the reliability and efficacy of personal identification…

Unfortunately, the driver’s licenses of that handful of states did not make the cut, failing to provide enough security features in the cards themselves or enough verification of identity and immigration status in the application processes…

The Department of Homeland Security began rolling out Real ID in 2014 and  Phase one involved restricted government areas, and phases two and three concerned semi-restricted areas like nuclear power plants. But phase four touches federally regulated aircraft—and therefore will affect millions of people….

When it rolls out officially for travelers, you won’t have anything new to worry about if you’re going abroad—you’ll need a passport anyway. But if you’re flying domestically, double check that your license makes the ID cut and be sure to get any new driver’s licenses your family may need!

NOTE: The State Department has some tips on how to get a passport in a timely manner.




Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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