Please sign in to post.

Possible Real ID Act Concerns for Travellers

Recently I read an article in my local newspaper about the Real ID Act. At this time it is possible that travelers in certain states, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Maine, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri and Washington will not be able to use their divers licenses as identification to travel out of the country. This is supposed to take effect in January 2018. I do not know if this will ever happen, but we travelers must be aware of the possibility. You can search for articles related to the above information.
Joe Figueiredo

Posted by
2102 posts

Am I missing something, we haven't been able to travel out of the country without a passport for a few years. Even going to Canada we need a passport.

Posted by
13 posts

You must show your passport AND your drivers license before you board the plane. Drivers licenses may NOT be accepted as appropriate ID to board a commercial airline if the requirements of the Real ID Act are enforced as of January 2018.I am keeping up!
Joe Figueiredo

Posted by
6076 posts

The issue has been kicking around for a few years, and action keeps getting postponed. It was an anti-terrorism measure that required all state-issued drivers licenses conform to a basic consistent format and content, in order to be considered as a valid federal ID. So this impacts ability to use non-conforming licenses as ID when entering gov facilities, or, TSA security at airports. Passports not an issue.

Posted by
6076 posts

joe I don't think you need both. I've used my passport only to get through security all the time. Airline doesn't ask for D-license if you have a passport. What concerns people is needing to use passport for domestic travel if they don't have a recognized D-license. My state is one of those listed, so it has come up before.

Posted by
1132 posts

Side note: some Drivers licenses are ONLY for driving (In California issued to undocumented drivers) and are not meant to be any form of identification, only that the holder is qualified to drive. So these DL's can't be used for travel.

Posted by
487 posts

They can use their passport to leave the country and don't need to show their state issued drivers license. The real issue is that to fly domestically or enter any federal building they will need to show federally accepted identification and their drivers license will not qualify for those purposes. It would be frustrating to have to purchase a passport to be able to show up for a court case!

Posted by
16165 posts

You must show your passport AND your drivers license before you board the plane.

No you don't. You must show a government issued photo ID, and if a passport doesn't fit that bill, I don't know what will. I often leave my driver's license behind if I know I will not be driving. What do people from overseas use to check in for U.S. domestic flights? I'm sure a TSA agent would not have a clue what a Czech drivers license even looks like and whether it meets "Real ID" standards. But a passport is standard, and very official.

Posted by
11613 posts

JenC, buy the passport and genetic your money's worth by traveling! Although I am fairly sure you do that, since you are on this site.

Posted by
1132 posts

I always take my California Drivers license with me on international trips. I have found that some museums (Borghese gallery) require an "Identification" as collateral for the audio guide. Much more comfortable leaving my DL than my passport. I can continue to travel without my DL should something happen. I do not always carry my passport (I know!) when I am in a city for a few days and my DL is my ID should I be knocked unconscious.

Posted by
186 posts

Hi Letizia,
I totally get where you are coming from. I totally agree. I had the same experience. Super freaky to leave behind my passport.
However, after dealing with the California DMV to replace a stolen driver's license--no appointments near me at the times I could go, had to get someone else to drive etc.-- I now use my California ID at foreign museums. It's cheaper to replace and I can still drive.

Posted by
4656 posts

JenC, you have it right. I live in one of the states that doesn't have Real ID compliant licenses. The State Legislature okayed the measure at first, then someone decided it was a plot by the federal government to collect our personal data (as if they don't have it already) and keep track of where we are. So The Leg balked, and we still aren't compliant. Yes, we need ID to board domestic flights, enter federal buildings, and enter military bases. So if you need to go talk to the IRS or Social Security, or if you have a job at one of Okla's many military bases, you'll have to have a passport; the Okla driver's license is not enough.

Word is the Legislature may be having second thoughts about this... or I guess third thoughts, in this case.

Posted by
2262 posts

My state of Pennsyltucky (sorry, Pennsylvania!) also balked at this, the conservative legislature deciding that the federal government has no authoritah to order the state to make the necessary minor changes to the licenses in order to comply with a federal mandate, taking a stand solely on political principle, rather than helping its residents. This is being reconsidered somewhere. My understanding is that states that say they will be doing something to implement can get an extension as to full implementation and extend the deadline for when their licenses will not be allowed for domestic travel. PA driver's licenses are on 4 year renewals, so if an immediate fix were put in place the photo license centers would not be able to deal with the volume, and 1/4 of the people would be having to get a new license within a year of their prior renewal. If these states don't comply and the feds don't come up with a better solution, the passport offices are again going to be over-run with volume.

Posted by
19199 posts

I've found that some (not all) museums will accept a copy of the first page of a passport when you rent/borrow an audio guide, rather than requiring an original ID, so I always try that first.

Posted by
12601 posts

They can use their passport to leave the country and don't need to
show their state issued drivers license. The real issue is that to fly
domestically or enter any federal building they will need to show
federally accepted identification and their drivers license will not
qualify for those purposes.

Exactly. I also live in one of the states listed, and my passport will be fine for foreign travel. We've just never had to use ours for domestic flights as our driver's licenses have been enough. That will not be the case when enhanced licenses (or suitable alternative, like a passport) become an absolute requirement: no more extensions. This issue has been going on for some time so it's nothing new.

Posted by
246 posts

The State of Washington is indeed one of those that currently does not issue Real ID compliant DLs, as the default DL. However, the State gives us the option of requesting and receiving a DL that is Real ID compliant (for a bit more money of course). Since we often travel domestically and don't want to carry our passports just to get on the airplane, we decided to get a Real ID compliant DL the last time we renewed. We did it just so we wouldn't be stuck in a huge line at the DMV when the Feds finally do start enforcing compliance to board domestic flights and everyone else wants one right away. We generally would carry our DLs with us for renting cars, etc when we travel domestically, so why not just get it done now and avoid the rush? The State did sweeten the deal a bit by making the Real ID DLs valid for an extra 1 year longer.

Posted by
18022 posts

I have been using my passport as ID when I fly for some time now (DL and wallet makers can't get their act together. The license fits tight in my wallet, making it hard to get out to go through security, so I just carry my passport). I don't consider it an imposition to use my passport.

BTW, I've NEVER had to show both, either for domestic or international flights.

Posted by
12601 posts

BTW, I've NEVER had to show both, either for domestic or international
flights.

Ditto.

Posted by
783 posts

Thanks Joe!

This was also an issue in Illinois so for awhile I started carrying my passport for domestic flights. TSA never asked for it and Illinois supposedly got an extension.

Here is a link to the Department of Homeland Security page that details the information.
https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-and-you-rumor-control

But in a nutshell, state IDs will have to be in compliance by 2018 although it looks like states can get extensions until 2020.

Posted by
377 posts

... will not be able to use their divers licenses as identification to travel out of the country.

I will be very surprised if they can with those licenses, in any state.

Posted by
6355 posts

Woinparis, since the US has no national ID (other than a passport) all states issue an official ID in lieu of a driver's license if one doesn't drive.

Posted by
861 posts

So I had an interesting experience at customs/immigration returning from Europe yesterday that is related to this topic. I used one of the automated kiosks then at the manned booth where they check your paperwork and ask question like "How long were you away?" and "What line of business are you in?", they also asked for my TX driver's license. That was a first for me and I had to dig in my bag to find it. I wonder what they would have done if I didn't have it?

Has anyone else ever been asked for a DL coming back?

DJ

Posted by
2779 posts

Woinparis, Those persons can also get a passport card to use as ID within the US. Though to be clear, a passport card, unlike a passport, can only be used to re-enter the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada and Mexico.

Posted by
1182 posts

DJ,

I had a similar experience returning from overseas and using a global entry kiosk. Customs agent took me aside, checked her computer and asked me a couple of questions. I was on my way in about 5 minutes. The best that I could tell was they were just trying to confirm my identity. I'm guessing someone with a similar name had issues (warrants, child support, etc.) or had their passport stolen.

Interesting aside, the agent originally asked for my GE card. I didn't have it since I thought it was for land crossings only. She seemed to believe otherwise. Go figure.

Posted by
31303 posts

"Has anyone else ever been asked for a DL coming back?"

In a word, No. In this area, a Passport is the only ID that seems to be acceptable. Except for using my DL for driving in Europe or as security when renting audio guides, it has no use for travel.

Posted by
825 posts

Yes - Jane is correct. For us who live in OK. Ok is not compliant for the Real ID at the present time.

Kim

Posted by
13 posts

In our experience, when traveling domestically, TSA asks for our drivers licenses as ID as well as airline personnel.
When traveling overseas, TSA asks for our passports. Airline personnel ask for our passports AND our drivers licenses. Perhaps it is a precaution of the airlines we have traveled on, perhaps not. I would rather airline personnel ask for both.
I do not know what will ultimately happen if Real ID goes into effect, but I hope cooler heads will prevail. It appears like government overreach once again.
Next the government will require photo ID to be able to vote. Wait...................................

Joe Figueiredo

Posted by
8293 posts

How does TSA handle those passengers flying domestic flights who do not drive and cannot provide a DL? Does this make them suspect? Will they be called aside for an inquisition?

Posted by
2916 posts

I've never been asked for a driver's license while traveling, either domestically or internationally. I've used a driver's license as identification while traveling domestically, but no one's ever asked to see it. I guess passport control can ask for things like a DL if they feel like it, but there is no requirement that you have one.

Posted by
1182 posts

Joe,

Would you mind identifying the airline that asked for both? I'm curious as I've never had it happen.

Norma,

Many US states will issue an ID card for nondrivers.

Posted by
3469 posts

Norma,

Every state in the US issues identification cards as well as driver licenses. You are allowed one or the other and whichever you choose you can have a total of only one from one state (when you move to a different state, you get a new one and they invalidate the old). The ID cards looks almost identical to a driver license in most states but do have wording indicating it is only for ID. The validity and requirements to get one are equivalent except for the requirement that you need to know how to drive and can pass a driving test.

Joe,

Yes, please let us know what airline required both ID and passport. I have flown every currently existing US based airline out of the US in the past few years and I have never been asked for a license by anyone, TSA or airline. Not sure why it would be better to have to show both. The passport is the only one that truly matters. Since I never drive myself when out of the US (except when I go to Canada) I never take my license with me. If I'm going to start having to take it, even if it is not a Real ID approved card, I will have to start changing my practices.

Posted by
698 posts

We always use our passport as ID, even for domestic travel.... however, if you want to rent a golf cart at Versailles to see the gardens and the rest of the grounds, you will need your driver's license to leave add collateral.

Posted by
13 posts

I do not know if the Real ID Act will ultimately effect any foreign travelers. I just posted it as "Nice to Know Information," to make people aware of what may happen.
The drivers license issue was based on my and my wife's experience. We will continue to carry our DL's. Better looking at them than looking for them.
Don't know what else to say.

Posted by
6076 posts

Joe, thanks for bringing this up. I had lost track of where this was as an issue, and its dropped out of public sight until next deadline. As said, enforcement has been postponed a couple of times already, even though the law as passed by Congress is pretty unambiguous. Its not really a TSA issue, but across the board for any interaction with federal government. The fact that we depend on a drivers license as a form of national identity card is pretty foolish to begin with. Congress could fix it easily if they wanted to.

Posted by
31303 posts

"When traveling overseas, TSA asks for our passports. Airline personnel ask for our passports AND our drivers licenses."

As a "foreigner" visiting the U.S. and using U.S.-based airlines over a period of about 40 years, I have never been asked to produce a driver's license as well as a Passport. Both TSA and the airlines seem to be quite happy with just a Passport.

Posted by
1767 posts

The Thousands Standing Around are only required to see ONE form of ID that matches the boarding pass. They do not get to ask for a second unless they have a reason and it can't be "I am bored"

I had one ask me for my passport once when I gave him my boarding pass to Madrid with a my driver's license. I looked at him and said "I have it in my bag, but the name is the same" He sighed and let me go LOL! They are not the immigration officials.

I refuse to allow them to play "I made up a rule just to show how important I am" and won't play along. If they try the game I just ask for a supervisor. I smile, I am polite, but I am not playing!

As of right now you do not have to worry about the RealID. SO if the TSA claims you do... supervisor time! Also, if the airline asked for my DL when they had my passport I would probably have some questions there too.. I have never had that happen.

Posted by
8293 posts

Carol (above) says for a flight to Madrid she showed the TSA agent her boarding pass and her Drivers' Licence, but not her passport, daring him to ask for it. Why would anyone do that? It's called being bloody-minded where I come from and unless one is looking for trouble not an advisable way to travel.

Posted by
9363 posts

When traveling overseas, TSA asks for our passports. Airline personnel ask for our passports AND our drivers licenses.

Never, ever have I been asked for both, or specifically for a DL. I carry my passport anytime I fly, domestically or internationally, and that is all I need. The only time the Real ID would come into play is if you were traveling domestically and did not have a passport.

Posted by
12601 posts

Nope, Norma, I wouldn't pull attitude with the TSA either. Or the authorities in European airports. I think our passports/boarding passes were politely but firmly checked 4 times by a succession of authorities before we got on a plane in Munich.

Posted by
12400 posts

Going to Europe I carry both my Calif Dr Lic and the US passport, same applies if I am flying domestically, still have both on me. At check-in when asked for the picture ID, flying domestically, I show either one, never had any problems there.

Flying to Europe from SFO, they want to see the passport, obviously. I keep that handy until I board. This last time I think I was asked to show the Passport three times, from check-in to boarding. Even before 9/11 when flying to Canada, I automatically showed the passport, not Dr Lic.

Posted by
351 posts

I've never been asked for my drivers license when traveling domestically. I've been asked for ID, but I can't recall a time that any airline or TSA staff member has asked me for my license. Good thing, as I don't have one.

And traveling internationally I've never been asked by the airline or TSA for anything other than my passport.

The more I think about it, I don't think a TSA person has ever asked me for any kind of ID - I always have it ready so they never have to ask. I advise you to do the same lest you adversely affect their mood and your smooth transit through security. :-D

Posted by
2262 posts

I hate to use "@MrsEB" but...

While there is no link to the specific article, you can Google "Real Id Act" and the information is there immediately in the link to Homeland Security. Yes, this has nothing to do with International flights, but it will effect every domestic flight inside the US, along with some other listed activities, in that you will not be able to use your driver's license for identification at TSA security unless it is from a state that has complied with this Act and is issuing these drivers' licenses. And as it now stands, a bunch of states are refusing to comply for reasons of taking a political stand of some kind without regard to their residents' needs. For anyone whose drivers' license is not acceptable, they will have to have other identification as allowed by TSA, of which a US Passport would certainly be the most likely one for any US readers of this board to already have, it's just that they will need it with them to fly.

Given the number of places where one can now get fake drivers' licenses (as so often advertised here along with numerous other web sites), is this such a bad idea to require that all US states follow a specified protocol for the issuance of their licenses so as to prevent fraudulent use? It is unfortunate that so many states are putting their own agenda of state vs feds ahead of this, and will disadvantage so many (end of political rant).

Posted by
12400 posts

Thanks for the information. Good to be informed. Basically, it makes no difference, irrelevant. If they want to see the Calif DL, I have it, If they want the Passport, I have it. As I said, I've been carrying both on me now for the last five years out of habit, wherever I fly.

Posted by
5689 posts

But Fred and l can use our California DL's in domestic flights because California is not one of the affected states.
And not only do I carry my current DL in Europe, I carry the expired one to leave as autoguide security or in case I run into a "policeman" on the street.

Posted by
1767 posts

"Carol (above) says for a flight to Madrid she showed the TSA agent her boarding pass and her Drivers' Licence, but not her passport, daring him to ask for it. Why would anyone do that? It's called being bloody-minded where I come from and unless one is looking for trouble not an advisable way to travel."

I did that because my driver's license was in a easier spot to get to then my passport which I had secured in my carryon.

I am not "bloody minded" but I saw no reason to hold up a line digging for my passport when my DL was right there in it's easy to find spot.

When he said "we need a passport" I just said , "it's in my bag, but doesn't' this count as ID" and smiled. End of discussion.

I don't "Look for trouble" but I am not allowing the TSA to play their games with me. I am amazed at what I hear people letting them get away with just because they are on some type of power trip.

Posted by
3469 posts

My last boarding pass for a flight to Europe on United had a large, hard to miss, note on it when I printed it: "Passport required to be valid". I showed the TSA guy the boarding pass and my passport as well as to the gate agent for the airline. This was on 10/15. No questions, no problems.

Posted by
329 posts

We have never been asked to provide a drivers license at any point in our international travel. Our passport was sufficient for crossing to Windsor from Detroit as well.

Posted by
12400 posts

True, Laura B., as a Calif resident, the Calif DL suffices on domestic flights to present upon check-in or TSA at SFO, LAX etc.

Posted by
9363 posts

According to the Homeland Security website, 24 states are currently in compliance with the new rules. Another 14 states and 3 territories have extensions until Oct 2017, and the extension for four states (Alaska, California, Virginia and Oregon) expires in June 2017. Another three are under review, five are noncompliant and cannot use DLs after Jan 2017, and three states (Minnesota, Missouri and Washington) are currently unable to use DLs.

https://www.dhs.gov/current-status-states-territories

Posted by
12400 posts

Not a bad idea to carry an expired DL for the audioguide security, assuming you use that in the first place.

At check-in at a hostel, they want you to leave a picture ID behind before the card key is handed to you. I always gave my Calif DL, which admittedly I was nervous about that the first time. You get the DL back at check-out when you return their card key (Kartenschlüssel) and sheets.

Posted by
6720 posts

The problem is Joe's original post, which confused the issue from the very beginning by misstating the facts:

t this time it is possible that travelers in certain states, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Maine, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri and Washington will not be able to use their divers (sic) licenses as identification to travel out of the country.

Of course, as several people have explained, driver's licenses have NEVER sufficed as I.D. to travel out of the country. One needs a passport!!

The difference is that now, people holding driver's licenses from these states will need an additional form of i.d. such as a passpot to travel within the United States. In other words, if they don't have something in addition to a driver's license, they won't be able to fly from OK to California or whatever.

Posted by
3469 posts

US citizens could travel to Canada and Mexico with only their drivers license and a copy of their birth certificate up until restrictions put in place after 9/11. Going to Europe or most anywhere else outside the US has always required a passport.

Posted by
13 posts

The article I read was either in the [Harrisburg, PA] Patriot News, www.pennlive.com or the [Carlisle, PA] Sentinel, www.cumerlink.com. I do not know if the article is available online.

However, my concern with what was in the article was the statement that a drivers license in certain states would no longer be acceptable ID on "COMMERCIAL" flights.

Take what you want from that.

Joe

Posted by
3469 posts

Are there any other types of flights than "commercial"??

If you fly yourself or take a private plane, you don't need to go through TSA and show ID. But the percentage of the flying public that does that is so low to not matter for this discussion/