The Department of Homeland Security has given Louisiana, Michigan and New York extensions to comply with the REAL ID Act by Oct. 10. Currently, only American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands risk being out of compliance on Jan. 22, when the Transportation Security Administration begins enforcement of the REAL ID Act.

The Act requires that driver’s licenses and other forms of state-issued IDs meet certain criteria to be accepted for commercial domestic flights.

Key points:

  • Louisiana, Michigan and New York join 23 states, plus Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, that have been given extensions to comply with REAL ID. If American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands are not granted an extension by Jan. 22, their residents will need to use another form of ID, such as a passport, when boarding commercial flights.
  • Residents of states that are either in compliance or that have been given an extension may use their existing state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards, even though they may not be compliant with the REAL ID Act.
  • A compliance map that is updated by DHS is available here.

BAL Analysis: As DHS moves toward enforcing the REAL ID Act, the majority of states (26) have been granted extensions, which allow their residents to continue to use state-issued driver’s licenses at airport security when boarding domestic flights until Oct. 10, 2018.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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