by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | January 24, 2017
Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, passengers in five states and one territory -- Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Washington and American Samoa -- will need more than their driver's licenses to get through TSA airport security checkpoints to board domestic flights. And, beginning last Friday, Jan. 20, federal facilities such as military bases have stopped accepting all noncompliant driver's licenses for entry identification. 
The government's Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses." If a state's license does not comply with the tougher security standards, travelers will be required to show an alternative form of acceptable identification recognized by the Transportation Security Administration, such as a passport, military ID or permanent resident card. 
Currently, 23 states are in compliance with Read ID, and another 27 states and territories have been granted extensions, since they have been deemed by the Department of Homeland Security to be making progress to meeting the new federal requirements. Those who hold driver's licenses or identification cards from these jurisdictions can continue to use them as before. All driver's licenses must meet Real ID standards by Oct. 1, 2020.
For questions and facts regarding Real ID, visit the Department of Homeland Security here.