Air trav­el­ers get ad­vance warn­ing of Real ID dead­line

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS - By Fredrick Kun­kle

WASHINGTON – The United States has fought two wars af­ter Sept. 11, 2001, has in­stalled count­less bol­lards and sur­veil­lance cam­eras, and weath­ered many other ter­ror­ist-re­lated threats since then.

But the day is now al­most at hand when the fed­eral govern­ment will at last re­quire that pas­sen­gers board­ing air­planes in the United States use new forms of “real” ID cards that, the govern­ment says, will im­prove avi­a­tion se­cu­rity. The Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rity Ad­min­is­tra­tion (TSA) has launched a new pub­lic in­for­ma­tion cam­paign to pre­pare peo­ple for when the new Real ID re­quire­ment takes ef­fect next fall. When the Oct. 1, 2020, dead­line ar­rives, all air­line pas­sen­gers will have to show a Real ID-com­pli­ant form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion to board an air­plane or en­ter a TSA check­point.

Those who lack a Real ID or other ac­cept­able form of iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, such as a valid pass­port, will be out of luck. The TSA says those folks will not be al­lowed to fly.

Sev­eral states, such as Penn­syl­va­nia, New Jersey and Ore­gon, have re­ceived ex­ten­sions from the De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity (DHS). Cal­i­for­nia’s level of com­pli­ance has been un­der re­view since DHS in­formed the state this year that one of its meth­ods of ver­i­fy­ing peo­ple’s res­i­dences was in­suf­fi­cient. The Los An­ge­les Times re­ports this has caused headaches for thou­sands of peo­ple (in­clud­ing the ar­ti­cle’s au­thor) who had re­ceived a new license that was sup­posed to be Real ID-com­pli­ant.

The TSA says ev­ery state has made some progress on tight­en­ing the doc­u­men­ta­tion of peo­ple’s IDs. But to be sure a trav­eler has a Real ID that will pass muster at a TSA check­point, the agency says Real ID-com­pli­ant IDs have a red star on the top of the card.

The REAL ID Act – which was passed by Congress in 2005 af­ter rec­om­men­da­tions is­sued by the 9/11 Com­mis­sion – lays out min­i­mum stan­dards for state-is­sued driver’s licenses and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards. The aim was to re­duce iden­tity fraud with forms of ID that are now re­quired to fly or en­ter fed­eral build­ings. Be­sides REAL ID­com­pli­ant licenses or pass­ports, the TSA will also ac­cept fed­eral govern­ment-is­sued IDs, known as Per­sonal Iden­tify Ver­i­fi­ca­tion (PIV) cards, and U.S. mil­i­tary IDs.

Vir­ginia be­gan is­su­ing the new form of Real ID-com­pli­ant licenses last year. Mary­land has been is­su­ing Real ID-com­pli­ant driver’s licenses since 2011, and the District of Columbia’s De­part­ment of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles (DMV) started rolling them out in 2014.

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