During Fall 2015, it was widely reported that people from a select few U.S. states will need a passport to fly domestically starting this month (January 2016). As of January 4, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security has increased the list of U.S. locations not offering state driver’s licenses that comply with new federal regulations known as the Real ID Act. This act includes the following 9 states/territories:
the U.S. Virgin Islands
Under the act, all licenses must be equipped with machine-readable technology, which typically comes in the form of a chip. The IDs being issued now are considered non-compliant.
Residents from these nine states/territories would have to produce another form of ID, most likely a U.S. passport or passport card. The problem is, only 4 out of 10 Americans actually HAVE a passport according to the State Department.
The deadline had been set for mid-January, but the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t set firm guidelines in place, it’s expected that travelers will have at least four months notice before the changes go into effect.