Residents from 5 US states could soon need a passport for a domestic flight
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  1. #1
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    Default Residents from 5 US states could soon need a passport for a domestic flight

    Residents from 5 US states could soon need a passport for a domestic flight


    In June, we warned that the REAL ID Act could soon render your government-issued driver's license useless as a form of ID at the airport.

    Under the act, state licenses are required to have all the regular information such as a photo ID, date of birth, signature, etc., as well as be equipped with "machine-readable technology" in the form of a chip.

    Since the REAL ID Act passed in 2005, many states have either complied with the new regulations or have asked for an extension to comply.

    Arizona, whose compliance was questionable the last time we wrote about the REAL ID Act, is now fully compliant.

    But a handful of states and territories still haven't issued new licenses that meet the federal regulations.

    If you're a resident of Louisiana, Minnesota, American Samoa, New Hampshire, or New York, you might need to begin traveling with your passport in 2016.

    These states have resisted regulating their licenses due to high administrative costs and a 50% increase in the license fee for drivers. But New York and Minnesota have made an enhanced license available to drivers at a cost of up to $30 more than a basic license.

    The failure of states to comply with the REAL ID Act could be disastrous for unsuspecting passengers. Not only will it be more difficult to fly, but those without a regulated driver's license will also have difficulty boarding cruise ships and entering some federal buildings.

    We can already imagine the horror stories of travelers arriving at the airport and being forced to miss an important flight because their home state failed to provide them with proper identification.

    The REAL ID Act has been heavily criticized and even accused of being unconstitutional, but it remains an important issue to keep your eye on if you live in one of the affected states or territories.

    It's unknown when the REAL ID Act will officially go into effect, and many states are still working on their extensions. Minnesota and New York residents may want to consider purchasing an enhanced driver's license just to be safe.

    But if you cannot afford the extra cost of an enhanced license or if your state is not currently offering any form of compliant identification, it would be a good idea to bring your passport with you when flying domestically.

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    If some states don't yet provide I.D. that meets the new requirement, clearly there would have to be a phase in period for something like this. For me it wouldn't be a big deal because I always travel with my passport or Nexus card regardless of whether I am changing countries or not. Just a smoother process to have the higher ranking I.D. with me. But I understand that not everyone travels outside of their own country so a passport isn't even something they would consider as needed. Last I recall somewhere around only 35-40% of the U.S. population have passports so these enhances licences would be the only option. All in all...more money for the government.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetguy5150 View Post
    But I understand that not everyone travels outside of their own country so a passport isn't even something they would consider as needed. Last I recall somewhere around only 35-40% of the U.S. population have passports so these enhances licences would be the only option.
    Yep, I've never had a passport. But my CA drivers license is the next best thing I suppose. Someday I'd like to visit Indiana.
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    I don't understand why there is not just a United States drivers license (and insurance, and registration). My son stays with my wife in Maryland, but he just came down and got his Florida drivers license, partly because he had a Florida learners permit and Maryland wouldn't accept that toward a Maryland license! My wife has a Maryland license, but her car is registered in Florida, partly because our Florida insurance is not good enough for her to register it in Maryland, so she'd have to get Maryland insurance. We all live in the same country, right?

    Does Canada have provincial drivers licenses, or is there just one Canadian drivers license? Been awhile since I've seen one, so I don't recall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    I don't understand why there is not just a United States drivers license (and insurance, and registration). My son stays with my wife in Maryland, but he just came down and got his Florida drivers license, partly because he had a Florida learners permit and Maryland wouldn't accept that toward a Maryland license! My wife has a Maryland license, but her car is registered in Florida, partly because our Florida insurance is not good enough for her to register it in Maryland, so she'd have to get Maryland insurance. We all live in the same country, right?

    Does Canada have provincial drivers licenses, or is there just one Canadian drivers license? Been awhile since I've seen one, so I don't recall.
    Same deal. Each province has their own licence and if you move, you have a certain amount of time to get the provincially issued licence. The grace period varies from province to province. Some give you 60 days, some 6 months. The good news is once you have a provincial licence they are very transferable meaning you are just getting a new provincial licence and you don't have to prove your worth as a driver to that province.
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