Most U.S. citizens need to change their driver’s licenses until January 22nd 2018 as per the press release of the Department of Homeland Security.
The process of changing driver’s licenses is currently ongoing. However, switching from the old ones to the newer, more secure identification documents could continue into 2018 or 2020 for some states. Until these deadlines, U.S. citizens may continue using their old identification documents. Afterwards, most U.S. citizens need to change their driver’s licenses until January 22nd 2018.
The Transportation Security Administration also announced in the early beginning of this year that under federal law, identification documents which comply with tougher security regulations are required. However, the process of transitioning is being completed in phases. Until the deadlines, each state still accepts older driver’s licenses as valid identification documents when travelling. If the driver’s licenses are not renewed, a valid passport may be used alternatively.
Provided the deadline is not met, U.S. citizens residing in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Washington, New Mexico as well as the American Samoa could experience some issues. The new licenses must comply with Real ID standards. According to the Department of Homeland Security, travellers need to change their identification documents to comply with Real ID standards until January 22nd, 2018. Another extended deadline is October 1st, 2020.
If U.S. citizens fail to change their identification documents to comply with Real ID standards, then any other valid ID that is approved at the federal level may be used when travelling.
The Real ID Act passes Congress in 2005. Forged under the lasting impression of the September 11th 2001 events, the Real ID Act put through a more stringent set of standards for IDs. However, their enforcement had been repeatedly delayed until now.
So far, there are 23 states as well as U.S. territories that have complied with the requirements of the Real ID Act. Another 27 states and U.S. territories have received an extension for meeting Real ID standards when issuing new identification documents.
Illinois, New Mexico, Missouri, Minnesota, Washington and the American Samoa will have to comply with the Real ID Act. However, they are opposed to some provisions of the Act, including the storage of documents necessary for an ID application. According to the officials of these states, doing so could enable information breach leading to tracking U.S. citizens.
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