Starting Jan. 22, some may need a passport for domestic air travel

Personal Finance

“One of the goals is to prevent terrorists from boarding commercial aircraft,” Yonkers said.

All states are currently in the process of implementing Real ID programs. Twenty-eight states and territories are already fully compliant and 26 have been granted extensions through Oct. 10, 2018. Just two territories, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands, are still under review for an extension, Yonkers said.

Check whether your state is compliant or has an extension

Homeland Security has been working closely with the TSA to make the transition painless, Yonkers said.

Residents of a state that has transitioned to issuing Real IDs have the option to go in and get a new, compliant license or use their passport when they fly. (If you go to the airport without proper ID, you may still be allowed to fly if the TSA can confirm your identity using a public database. If your identity cannot be verified, you will not be allowed through security.)

Travelers with driver’s licenses issued by a state that has been granted an extension will still be able to use their driver’s licenses in the interim.

But starting Oct. 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a Real ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of ID, for domestic air travel.

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