People from These 4 U.S. States May Need a Passport to Fly Domestically Starting in 2016

Sep 18, 2015
Take note, you may need a passport to get through security for a domestic flight, starting in the new year.

New York, Louisiana, Minnesota and New Hampshire, as well as the territory of American Samoa, are the five locations not offering state driver's licenses that comply with new federal regulations known as the Real ID Act. Under the act, all licenses must be equipped with machine-readable technology, which typically comes in the form of a chip. The IDs being issued now are considered non-compliant.

Residents from these states would have to fly on another form of ID, most likely a U.S. passport or passport card. However, only about four of every 10 Americans have a passport, according to the State Department. Other acceptable forms of ID will include U.S. military ID, permanent residence cards or trusted traveler cards like NEXUS or Global Entry.

An official date for the transition has not been announced, but a three-month grace period window will allow travelers to fly after letting them know their IDs will no longer be valid.

Enhanced Driver’s Licenses will also be accepted by the TSA. These are the forms of ID that are used to replace passports for travel to and from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean. Of the four non-compliant states, these are offered in New York as well as Minnesota.

Photo by Arina P Habich /

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