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Montana Gets Some Breathing Room on Needing Passports to Fly Domestically

Young woman showing her driver's license
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A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the new direction of needing proper identification for boarding a flight. In case you missed it, it is call The Real ID Act. It’s designed to help identify those on flights even when flying within our own country.

The Department of Homeland Security has announced a new deadline for states to comply which is January 22, 2018.

Just so you know, you can still board a flight with your current license until the new deadline. However, AAA MountainWest recommends that you carry an alternate ID whenever you travel.

To ensure compliance by the 2018 deadline, DHS issued the following revised implementation schedule for states to review:

  • Effective immediately, DHS will initiate a comprehensive consumer education campaign on REAL ID.
  • Beginning July 15, 2016, TSA, working with airlines, airports and consumer groups, will issue routine travel advisories and notifications to the traveling public about pending deadlines
  • Starting December 15, 2016, this outreach will expand to airport checkouts with signage, handouts and other communication materials.
  • Beginning on January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.
  • October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or other acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.

So how does this affect Montana?

Montana has received an extension, allowing federal agencies to accept driver’s licenses from these states until October 10, 2016.

Not sure if you need to renew your passport? AAA MountainWest has these quick facts can help you:

  • The U.S. State Department reports its busiest months are January through August, when passport demand is extremely high and when applications may take longer to process.
  • Many countries require a U.S. passports to have at least 6 months validity and some require two blank pages for entry. Review the entry/exit requirements for your destination now.
  • Look out for a passport expiration dates because they can differ. Many parents forget or don’t realize that a child’s passport is valid for 5 years, unlike adult passports, which are valid for 10 years.

Hopefully this helps you out. Thanks to AAA MountainWest for this information.

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