The New Year will be bringing new security measures with the Real ID Act, which DHS (Department of Homeland Security) announced in December of 2013; new minimum standards for drivers’ licenses and identifications for the purposes of accessing Federal facilities, and boarding federal commercial aircraft. It’s been 12 years since this passed and will now begin enforcing those that have yet met these standards of the Real ID. This phase will begin with a 3-month period in which agencies will provide notices to individuals attempting to use their licenses or IDs from noncompliant states, but will allow access. However, once the time period is over they will no longer be accepted as an ID for entry of any Federal facility. It’s important to know, that if you receive benefits from the Federal government, you will need this new ID to have access.

Towards the end of January, 2018 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will no longer accept your license or identification unless it meets the REAL ID requirements. So, for those of you traveling over the holidays, especially at the end of December and not returning until sometime in January, it would be in your best interest to apply for your Real ID prior to your trip. Whether you are in a noncompliant or a compliant state, the TSA will NOT accept any identification that does not meet the REAL ID standards, beginning January 22nd, 2018. You may visit for a complete list of identification documents they will accept.

Homeland Security continues to work with government agencies to keep us safe, and with the new IDs taking effect this coming year there’s no doubt in my mind that hackers and criminals will pursue their quest to defraud and, or…harm Americans. It’s disheartening, but a simple fact. I welcome the new IDs; I think it’s a great idea and should have been implemented sooner rather than later (12 yrs. later), so many of us should be prepared. The TSA has been posting signs at the airports near the security check points all year, warning passengers of this upcoming change. This is important and was the recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, so please don’t hesitate, get your ID now.  My only fears … are those that will take their chances to fly without Real IDs (before the cut-off time), and then upon arrival (with no Real ID) they’ll start some kind of disturbing protest at the airport. So it goes.

Make your week count.