LIKE TO FLY?

Better buckle up; times are a'changin'

By TIM SINIARD
Posted 4/16/19

Beginning late next year, if you do not already have a driver’s license with a star emblazoned in the upper right-hand corner, you will not be allowed to board a commercial flight in the United …

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LIKE TO FLY?

Better buckle up; times are a'changin'

Posted

Beginning late next year, if you do not already have a driver’s license with a star emblazoned in the upper right-hand corner, you will not be allowed to board a commercial flight in the United States.

This includes Cleveland and Bradley County residents who often fly to destinations nationwide or globally using major airports in Chattanooga, Nashville, Knoxville and Atlanta, among others.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the U.S.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, the state will begin issuing the credentials this summer. While the state does not require vehicle drivers to obtain a REAL ID, one will be required in order to board a flight within the U.S.

According to a Nashville TV station's news site, "Officials with the Department of Safety and Homeland Security told lawmakers ... that Tennesseans aren’t required to get the upgraded driver’s licenses. However, the Real-ID compliant-cards will be needed to fly on airplanes, go into federal buildings or enter military bases effective Oct. 1, 2020." It also noted "the state will give residents the option to upgrade their driver’s license starting July 1 (2019) to meet federal requirements that will affect air travel."

Some relatively newer driver's licenses in other states already have the star qualifying that person to fly.

As a result of the change, the TSA has launched a public awareness campaign to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport security checkpoint process when the REAL ID Act goes into full enforcement next year.

According to the TSA, “the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards.”

TSA Administrator David Pekoske said the agency is “doing everything we can to prepare our partners and the traveling public for the REAL ID deadline next year.”

“The security requirements of the REAL ID Act will dramatically enhance and improve aviation security,” Pekoske said.

Travelers will begin seeing new signs at airports nationwide in the coming weeks, to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, according to a TSA press release.

Critically important, after the deadline, “individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.”

REAL ID-compliant licenses are generally marked by a star on the top of the card. Travelers who are not sure if their ID is compliant should check with their state driver’s license agency.

Depending on the state, the star may be gold, black, a cutout design in a gold circle or a star cutout in a black circle.

The REAL ID Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2005.

It will comply with the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” 

The act establishes “minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as at airport security checkpoints,” according to the TSA.

The regulations established the deadline to ensure full enforcement of the REAL ID Act by that date. “States have made considerable progress in meeting this key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission and every state has a more secure driver's license today than before the passage of the act,” according to the TSA.

Those wanting to obtain their REAL ID may visit a Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicle office in person to present documentation to verify their identity.

The TSA does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the U.S.

TDSH Communications Director Megan Buell told the Cleveland Daily Banner that Tennesseans do have a choice whether they want to be issued the REAL ID. 

"It will be an option," Buell said. "If you want to get the one with the gold star you can get it by going to the DMV."

However, those who want to board flights, as well as be admitted into federal buildings, may want to choose to be issued the REAL ID.

Buell did say that Tennesseans with up-to-date passports will be allowed to board a flight if they choose not to be issued a REAL ID.

"If you have an up-to-date passport you can fly domestically," Buell said.

Buell said the state will kick off a REAL ID marketing campaign in May, which will help inform Tennesseans about the new federal requirement. Until then, state residents may visit  www.tn.gov/tnrealid/ to learn more about the program.

Cleveland Regional Jetport director Mark Fidler said the new regulations will not affect operations at the local airport, since it does not function under the same regulations as major airports, where the TSA will be verifying if travelers have REAL IDs. However, Fidler said checking the IDs will be the responsibility of carriers who fly out of the airport.

For more information about flying with a REAL ID and to download and print informational materials, visit tsa.gov/real-id.

Acceptable alternative forms of ID for air travel include:

•REAL ID driver’s license or other REAL ID compliant state photo identity card issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)

• U.S. passport

•U.S. passport card

•DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

•U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents

•Permanent resident card

•Border crossing card

•DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license

•Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID

(According to Cherokeenation.org, "The REAL ID law applies to whether ‘state-issued’ IDs are compliant and our Cherokee Nation photo ID is not state-issued.  The REAL ID law only applies to state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.  Our tribal IDs are accepted as a ‘Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID’ for flying per the TSA website (See https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification) and you should not have to show your tribal ID in addition to a driver’s license.  This applies only to air travel, not other federal facilities.  Tribal IDs may be acceptable forms of identification at some federal facilities and may not be considered acceptable at others.")

•HSPD-12 PIV card

•Foreign government-issued passport

•Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card

•Transportation worker identification credential (TWIC®)

•U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)

•U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

Click on the following link to view an informational video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7S2VEc4l94&feature=youtu.be.


Inset Text:

Cleveland Regional Jetport director Mark Fidler said the new regulations will not affect operations at the local airport, since it does not function under the same regulations as major airports, where the TSA will be verifying if travelers have REAL IDs. However, Fidler said checking the IDs will be the responsibility of carriers who fly out of the airport.

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