As part of the act, air travelers who have a state-issued driver’s license or ID card that fails to meet REAL ID Act requirements must also have alternative identification that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will accept. This will apply to all commercial domestic flights within the U.S. This will go into effect on Jan. 22, 2018.
From 2016 to 2018, any states that don’t implement REAL ID will be encouraged to do so for the sake of their residents.
Starting in 2004, the 9/11 Commission said the national government needed to develop standards for state-issued ID cards, just like driver’s licenses, so that people are guaranteed to be the person they claim to be. These standards include adding anti-counterfeit technology to cards, verifying every card applicant’s identity with accepted documentation and conducting background checks on all employees involved in issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards.
In light of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation, Congress developed the REAL ID Act. This stops all federal agencies from accepting ID cards or driver’s licenses from states that don’t use REAL ID Act standards. The move aims to protect the security of domestic airline flights.