The Transportation Security Administration began posting signs at the nation’s airports this week notifying travelers that beginning in January 2018 it will start enforcing REAL ID requirements at airport security checkpoints.
According to a notice on the City of Billings website, that means that Montana travelers seeking to use their state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board commercial flights must use, unless some agreement can be reached, another form of identification, such as a passport, military ID or permanent resident card.
Montana is one of nine states with security standards that don’t reach the minimum level required by the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005. The others are Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.
The law prohibits federal agencies, including the TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for certain purposes, including boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, from states that do not meet the REAL ID standards.
According to the news release, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to work with states to encourage compliance with the law and “may grant extensions or determine compliance for additional states as warranted.”