If You Want to Get on a Plane Next Year, Get Your Passport in Order

Twenty-five states won't accept a driver’s license in 2018

By Evan Bleier

 
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13 September 2017

It’s September 2017. Do you know where your passport is?

The reason we ask is that if you’d like to get on a flight next year, even a domestic one, there’s a very good chance you are going to need it.

Starting on January 22nd of 2018, the Department of Homeland Security will no longer accept state-issued IDs like driver’s licenses from half of the states in the union thanks to the standards of the REAL ID Act, a 2005 anti-terrorism measure that is slowly starting to be implemented.

There’s a chance more states will meet the criteria of the act by the 22nd, but as of now IDs issued from New York, California, Illinois and 22 other states are considered non-compliant.

All of that said, if you have a valid passport, you’re set. Congrats. Do nothing. Smell the roses.

If you don’t, get your passport renewed or consider getting a passport card, an alternative form of ID that is the same size as a driver’s license and will allow you to board any domestic flight. The card costs $30 if you already have a passport, $55 if you don’t.

To see where you stand and if you need another form of ID, take a gander at the DHS website.

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