Flying Is About To Get Tougher For Some People
This is fun, a law that started 10 years ago is now going to be enforced a lot more in 2016.
It is called The Real ID Act. It was a way for the federal government to make photo identifications (like driver licenses) harder to forge. This is supposed to be a crackdown on terrorism.
The TSA people at airports have been rather lenient with people about all this, but now they have decided 2016 is when they are going to make sure everyone is compliant with their photo ID, even on commercial flights in the U.S. where people wouldn't need a passport and can just use their driver license as their photo ID. Not everybody has a passport. It's costly and if you don't plan on leaving the country you don't need one.
(For the record, I have a passport and it is wonderful. I look like a world traveler just by having one, even though I have only been to Mexico and Canada. It is also a failsafe photo ID that is not a pain in the butt whenever I need to show ID and don't feel like being hassled, which is always.)
As of now, only 44% of states have driver licenses that would be compliant with The Real ID Act. That's 22 states.
Another 19 states had extensions that ended yesterday.
Another 4 states have extensions through October 1.
And then there are 5 states who are being just like me. They are either procrastinating doing this, or they refuse to do it because they think their way is better.
If you have an Iowa drivers license, you are good to go. You don't need a passport to fly to anywhere in the U.S. because your license has been made terrorist-proof (or something).
But....not everyone that lives in Iowa HAS an Iowa drivers license. There are college students from other states, radio people who move around the country, and other various troubled people. OR you may have loved ones who live in states with inferior driver licenses, and they may not be able to get on an airplane to visit you (or anyone else).
So what about the states around Iowa? Well, Nebraska and Wisconsin are good. But three of those five naughty states border on Iowa, so you may know a lot of people in or from them.
They are freaking out now in my home state:
There's a lot of Chicago lovers in the Cedar Valley, they're freaking out there too.
They are also not happy in Missouri.