National News

Dec 21, 2012 11:03 AM

Deadline pushed back to require passports for flights

The deadline has been pushed back that would have required Louisiana residents boarding planes to have a valid U.S. passport. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security made that announcement today. Originally the change was supposed to take place January 15, 2013. No date has been set for the new deadline.

So far, thirteen states have met the standards of the REAL ID Act of 2005 ("Act") to improve security in issuing driver's licenses and identification cards. All other states and terrorities have been granted a temporary deferment. The states who meet the requirements include the following: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

In the coming weeks and months, DHS says they will develop a schedule for the phased enforcement of the Act's statutory prohibitions to ensure that residents of all states are treated in a fair manner. DHS expects to publish a schedule by early fall 2013 and begin implementation after. Until the schedule is implemented, Federal agencies may continue to accept for official purposes driver's licenses and identity cards issued by all states.

DHS has twice modified the statutory deadline in order to allow states more time to meet the statutory requirements of the Act in a period of declining state revenues.

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