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You Might Need Your Passport For Domestic Flights From January Onwards logo 13/9/2017

This article was originally on at: You Might Need Your Passport For Domestic Flights From January Onwards

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You may need to show your passport when flying across the country soon. The United States Department of Homeland Security has announced that it will no longer be accepting state-issue identification from close to half of the states in the country. Whether or not you will need to get your hands on a passport will depend on your state's current compliance status.

What does this mean for your travel plans in 2018? There's a chance that you may not be able to travel using just your driver's license or state-issued ID once the Jan. 22 deadline rolls around at the beginning of next year. Find out what you need to do to make sure you can board your plane.

Why Passports Will Be Needed For Domestic Air Travel

The federal government recently created new identification requirements for states to follow under the REAL ID law. Some states made the updates immediately. Others still haven't worked toward meeting the new compliance guidelines. Only 24 states were in full compliance as of the end of summer.

The Department of Homeland Security will not accept state-issued IDs from the states that aren't in full compliance. This means that residents of the states that are not yet in compliance won't be able to simply travel using their driver's license or other state-issued identification after Jan. 22, 2018. What can these travelers do? You will need to show a passport or some other comparable form of identification to board a plane if your state still has noncompliant status by the deadline.

Do You Live In A Compliant State?

The good news is that you can check if your state is in compliance with the new ID laws instantly by viewing the DHS compliance map here.

If your state is fully compliant, you're already done. If your state isn't compliant and you have a trip booked, you may need to take some action. The State Department is currently issuing passport books and passport cards for travelers from states that are noncompliant.

A passport card isn't the same thing as a passport. This form of identification will allow you to board domestic flights. However, it is not considered a valid form of identification for international travel outside of crossing land borders and ports of entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

The cost for a passport card is $55 if you're applying for one for the first time. Anyone who already has a passport will only be charged $30. You can also simply apply for a traditional passport. However, this option does take a bit more time to process and costs $135 for new applications and $110 for renewals.

Luckily, September is National Passport Awareness Month. This means that in addition to being able to apply for a passport by mail, you can attend one of the many passport events taking place at public libraries around the country. It's an ideal time to check if your local library is hosting a passport event because you can get everything processed by the start of 2018.

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