In 2016, a driver’s license may not be enough ID to board a plane…(Welcome To East Germany!!)

Friday, November 27, 2015
By Paul Martin

Some people will need to get their passport ready

By MARIA LAMAGNA
MarketWatch.com
Nov 27, 2015

Government regulations could soon make identification at the airport a little more complicated.

The House and Senate have both approved a provision in a long-term highway bill that says those who owe the Internal Revenue Service more than $50,000 in taxes could have their passports denied or revoked.

The provision would go into effect Jan. 1.

And beginning as soon as 2016, U.S. travelers who want to board a domestic flight may need to bring more than just their driver’s license for identification at the airport.

According to the REAL ID Act, which Congress passed in 2005 after a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission in an effort to prevent future terror attacks, certain states’ driver’s licenses do not meet minimum standards for security and identification.

Rules for those with “noncompliant” driver’s licenses have been rolling out in phases, beginning with restricted access to federal facilities and nuclear power plants in 2014. The ability to board federally-regulated commercial aircraft is the last phase of the rollout. The Department of Homeland Security has not specified the exact date when it will take effect, instead stating it will be “no sooner than 2016.”

When enforced, this phase of the REAL ID Act will mean travelers in states with noncompliant IDs will need alternative documents to board a plane, such as a passport, passport card, U.S. military ID or other documents listed on the Transportation Security Administration’s website.

New York, Vermont, Washington, Michigan and Minnesota also offer Enhanced Drivers’ Licenses, which are compliant under the REAL ID Act and can be used at the airport. They come at a lower cost, just $15 to $45 (in addition to the cost of obtaining a drivers’ license), compared with the $110 fee those aged 16 and older must pay for a U.S. passport.

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