COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Transportation Security Administration is starting to post signs at airports nationwide warning travelers to make sure they have the right identification to board planes.
You might think that means you just need you driver’s license, and for Ohioans, you’d be correct. But residents of nine states will be forced to alternative identification, such as passport, military ID or permanent-resident card, if they want to fly anywhere in the US next year.
Those nine states? Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.
The issue is with the Department of Homeland Security’s Real ID act, which was passed by congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005. It requires states to adopt better security measures for driver’s licenses to help prevent terrorism.
Ohio already adopted those measures, but the nine states listed above still don’t have IDs that comply with federal regulations. Those regulations require driver’s licenses to contain anti-counterfeit technology and require states to thoroughly verify an applicant’s identity.
“ID requirements are changing,” signs going up at airports state. “Starting January 22, 2018, you will need a driver’s license or ID from a state compliant with the Real ID Act.”
It doesn’t just stop at the airport. Residents of those states would also need alternative identification to access any Federal facilities or nuclear power plants.
It’s unclear if state legislatures will update their identification standards by that deadline. Some states, such as Montana, oppose the Real ID act, saying the program “raises real concerns about the unnecessary collection of Montanans’ personal and private information by the federal government.”
INTERACTIVE MAP: See if your state is compliant