REAL ID Act Compliance Deadline

Practice Areas

Beginning January 22, 2018 TSA will no longer accept driver’s licenses or identification that are not REAL ID Act compliant for domestic travel. Passed in 2005, with a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission, the REAL ID Act sets national minimum-security standards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting non-compliant IDs and driver’s licenses for official purposes, including domestic air travel. This means state IDs and driver’s licenses will be required to have certain security enhancements to prove that individuals are lawfully present in the United States.

Currently, 24 states have a grace period (ending January 22, 2018) to be in compliance with the REAL ID. These states have also submitted extension requests including Washington, California, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts and NY, that are under review with the DHS. However, it is not yet clear if these extensions will be granted by DHS. In the past, extensions have been granted to allow states additional time to comply with the Real ID Act. However, we typically have to wait and see with DHS.

Do you live in a state that has not yet complied with the Real ID? What You Need to Know:

  • Beginning January 22, 2018, you may not continue using your state-issued driver’s license or ID unless your state has been granted an extension to the compliance deadline. For a list of states, please see
  • If your state timely filed an extension of the compliance deadline, you may continue to use your state-issued driver’s license or IDs until October 1, 2020. For a list of states, please see
  • For a list of states that are currently Real ID Compliant, please see

QUESTION: Are Minors Subject to REAL ID Act?

ANSWER: No. TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. You should contact your airline service provider for questions regarding specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

QUESTION: Can I still use my non-compliance ID/Driver’s license for other purposes?

ANSWER: Yes. States can continue to issue non-complying licenses and IDs, so long as these have a unique design and a clear indication that they cannot be accepted for any federal identification purpose.

Moreover, you will NOT need a REAL ID compliant form of identification for the following:

  • Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
  • Being licensed by a state to drive
  • Accessing Health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

QUESTION: Are there any other TSA Approved Forms of Identification I can use for travel?

ANSWER: Yes. You can see a list of TSA Approved forms of identification by visiting this link:



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