Forget to renew your passport? No biggie--you’re just flying domestic. But in a of couple years you might not be able to use your state ID if you’re from one of the five states not compliant with the federal Real ID requirements. Here, we’ll explain.
OK, so what does Real ID mean? Basically, it’s a set of standards that your state has to meet before they can issue you an official form of identification, like a driver’s license. It’s all in the name of safety and security post-9/11--so it’s kind of a big deal.
How do I know if my state is compliant with the law? You can check out this site for the most up to date info. As of right now, 23 states (New York! Nebraska!) are 100 percent compliant and 22 (California! Texas!) are working to become compliant over the next 18 months before the new regulations take effect.
But what about the other five states? Yeah, so Missouri, Washington, New Mexico, Illinois and Minnesota may never be compliant. Why? Probably because it costs money they don’t have.
Uh-oh, so what does that mean? If you need to board a plane after January 22, 2018, and your state isn’t up to code with Real ID laws, you’ll need an alternate form of identification--like a passport--but hey, you need to renew that baby, anyway.