As if traveling wasn’t inconvenient enough! According to a new policy, residents of New York, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Louisiana may be required to have a passport in order to clear airport security come 2016; even if they aren’t traveling out of the country.
The policy, a result of the Real ID act, was passed in 2005 by Congress as a new strategy implemented to protect America against terrorism by testing the reliability of personal identification cards, as the driver’s licenses from those four states didn’t make the cut. This is a pretty big deal, considering an estimated 38% of Americans don’t have passports.
Real ID was born in 2014, when the Department of Homeland Security initiated four phases. The first phase restricted certain government areas, the second and third were concerning semi-restricted areas, such as nuclear power plants. Now, phase four changes federally-regulated aircraft laws, which will affect millions of Americans.
The precise date hasn’t been announced yet, but residents of those states should be prepared. While traveling internationally has always required a passport, now domestic travel will too. Click here for tips from the State Department on how to get a passport in time.
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