Imagine waiting in the long TSA lines just to be turned around once you presented your state-issued ID.
As if traveling wasn't already stressful and complicated enough, next year residents of eight states will no longer be able to use their state-issued ID for domestic air travel.
Residents of Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Carolina or Washington, will no longer be valid to pass TSA-checkpoints with their state IDs. This means they'll have to bring a passport, military ID or permanent resident card next time they go to the airport, even if they're just traveling within the United States.
The new rule goes into effect January 22, 2018. This gives you plenty of time to finally renew that passport. The TSA has already begun putting up signage alerting travelers of the upcoming change in requirements.
So why are these states the only ones being affected? These states don't meet the federal government's minimum security standards, which requires verifying every ID applicant's identity, putting anti-counterfeit technology into the production of the card and conducting background checks on the people issuing the driver's licenses.
The REAL ID Act of 2005 prohibits federal agencies from "accepting for certain purposes driver's licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act's minimum standards," which makes these particular state IDs invalid for travel.
Currently, 25 states plus Washington D.C. are in compliance with the rules. The remaining states have been given extensions to meet the standards.
Residents from the 8 non-compliant states that haven't been granted extensions may be affected by the REAL ID Act even sooner than January 2018, however. As of January 30, 2017, IDs from non-compliant states will not be accepted for entry into federal facilities, nuclear power plants or military bases. IDs from states that have been granted extensions will be accepted until the extension deadline.
TSA to stop accepting some states' drivers licenses in 2018