Courier December Courier - Page 13

BUSINESS RELATING TO GOVERNMENT INSIGHTS ON U.S. LEGISLATIVE ISSUES AND INDUSTRY TOPICS Real ID just got real FOLLOWING THE TERRORIST ATTACKS on Sept. 11, 2001, recommendations from the subsequent 9/11 Commission Report directed the U.S. federal govern- ment to set standards for “the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Real ID Act, enacted on May 11, 2005, created requirements for state- issued driver’s licenses and identifi- cation cards to be recognized by the federal government for official pur- poses. Defined by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, “official purposes” include boarding commercially-operated flights and entering federal facilities and nuclear power plants. The act requires that all driver’s licenses and IDs must include the person’s full legal name, residential address, birth date, gender, photograph, signature and an ID number. Most IDs already meet these requirements. Added security measures of the Real ID Act, though, include having a barcode and security devices meant to prevent tam- pering or counterfeiting on all IDs. And all information—including ID card data and driving records—must be entered into a national database of driver’s license and ID card holders from all states. After several years of postponements and extensions, the final deadlines for Real ID implementation are quickly approaching. Phases 1 through 3 of the planned Real ID implementation pro- cess primarily involve access to federal facilities, the Department of Homeland Security headquarters and nuclear power plants. But the traveling public should focus on Phase 4, which deals with access to domestic commercial air travel. Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, all driver’s licenses or ID cards used at airports to gain access to a commercial airline must be issued by a state that either is com- pliant with Real ID requirements or has been granted an exception or extension. U.S. passengers who have noncompliant state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs—and come from states that have not been granted an extension—will need to have an alternate form of acceptable ID for domestic air travel, such as a U.S. pass- port. Travelers whose states have been granted an extension will be able to use their regular driver’s licenses or IDs. As of Oct. 31, the Department of Homeland Security had granted 17 states an extension on Real ID imple- mentation and enforcement through Oct. 10, 2018. This means that residents in those 17 states will not have ID problems when boarding a commercial domestic aircraft or when entering a federal facility through next October. DHS is currently reviewing extension requests from six other noncompliant states. In the meantime, DHS says there will be no change in Real ID enforce- ment status for these states. So unless those states are granted extensions, driver’s licenses and IDs issued by those states will not be considered Real ID-compliant beginning Jan. 22. And by Oct. 1, 2020, every U.S. pas- senger on a domestic commercial flight must be able to present a Real ID-compliant form of ID or another form of acceptable ID, such as a U.S. passport. NTA appreciates the added travel and aviation security that will come with full implementation of Real ID. To ensure that the traveling public does not have issues at the airport, though, NTA asks that travel planners pay close attention to the Department of Homeland Security’s webpage on Real ID for updates on extensions granted to states: Another helpful resource is the full list of the Transportation Security Administration’s acceptable forms of ID, which is found on the TSA webpage: security-screening/identification. Check the list at the bottom for com- pliancy status of states as of Oct. 31. Signal Group is a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm retained by NTA to advise members about travel-related issues and legislation. Compliant states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming Noncompliant states with an extension: Alaska, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington States still under review: Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Rhode Island 9