Alert: residents of nine U.S. states will need a passport for domestic travel in 2018

Yes, that’s right: soon a driver’s license will no longer do, for the residents of these states don’t have licenses that conform to federal regulations:

  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Washington

According to Forbes and the government itself, if you live in one of these states, you’ll need a passport to fly anywhere after January 18, 2018 unless your state has been granted an extension (and those would last only until October). That’s not very far away!

Some states are working on getting flight-compliant ID cards, but none have so far been issued. If I lived in one of these states and plan to fly, I’d apply for a passport now if I didn’t have one. It takes some time, and there’s going to be a rush.

Don’t shoot me; I’m just the messenger.

56 Comments

  1. BobTerrace
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Subscribe

  2. sensorrhea
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure South Carolina’s Nikki Haley doesn’t own a passport, so this could be a problem.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      According to press reports, Haley traveled abroad frequently while governor of South Carolina, so I assume she must have a passport. In any event, I’d be gobsmacked if our ambassador to the United Nations (and a child of immigrants no less) didn’t have a passport.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Didn’t the US recently have a president with no passport?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Dubya wasn’t much for international travel before he set his sights on the US presidency, but even he had a passport.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            Oh, he did? That wasn’t the story that got told (and believed) on this side of the Pondus Maximus.
            I’m seeing a little chatter on Twit**r that the 45th is still making his ridiculous claim to a right to a protest-free visit to the UK. That’ll be shining bright – it’s just going to increase the intensity of the protests.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted October 15, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

              I’ve heard the UK won’t be granting the Donald an official state visit. Guess his orange nibs won’t be having tea with Her Majesty.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

                Shame. I was quite looking forward to seeing how rude Prince Philip would be to him (accidentally, probably) or Prince Charles (almost certainly deliberately). And more entertainingly, whether President Smallhands noticed.

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Yeah an inconvenience to her, I hope so! I don’t like her! Warmonger! 💣

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Dubya wasn’t much for international travel before he set his sights on the US presidency, but even he had a passport.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          Sorry, that’s in response to Aidan, above.

  3. DrBrydon
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    I thought that Forbes article very badly written.

    As reported by Travel and Leisure, nine states will no longer allow travelers to board an airplane with just their state issued driver’s licenses as of January 22, 2018.

    As a business traveler I almost freaked out when I read that. This makes it sound like certain states are requiring passports from all travelers, when it’s the Federal government requiring some form of Federal ID rather than that state’s driver’s license. Bad job Forbes.

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Yeah, but the other forms of federal ID listed on the government website are not common, and not even available to many people.

      • DrBrydon
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Oh, I agree. But it implied that everyone traveling from Kentucky, say, would require a passport or other ID, whereas the other forty-one states drivers’ licenses are valid.

  4. Randy schenck
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    This just give more reason to ask the question, why do we have each state issuing driver’s licenses. It is really stupid and I can tell you, as someone who has moved around allot in my life, it is a pain in the ass. In many ways we still act as if it were 1786 we sure do pay for it.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      You are right to point that out. Also, why are there different insurance companies allowed in different states. Do we have different illnesses in different areas?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        So, you have to have an insurance policy for the state you reside in, one for each of the bordering states, then one for each of those bordering states … no wonder Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rica are the most populous states. Question mark?

        • Derek Freyberg
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          It’s one of the consequences of Federalism. Each state regulates the insurance industry within its borders, and different states have different rules on what kinds of policies may be written, etc. And some companies just aren’t big enough to try to operate nationwide; but there are several that do. So you buy a policy in the state in which you reside, but it covers you nationwide (and maybe even across the Canadian border – I remember a few years ago obtaining a form from my insurance company that I could show in Canada if asked for proof of insurance; Mexico is different and you have to buy separate coverage, but the risks are considered higher).
          As for driver’s licenses, same thing. What the TSA is saying is that certain states’ licenses are not sufficiently secure – by which I suppose they mean non-forgeable – to constitute satisfactory ID.
          A bit of history. I grew up in New Zealand, and got my first driver’s license in the mid-1960s. Tests were national, conducted by the then Ministry of Transport (traffic officers, who enforced traffic laws, worked for MoT, and were not police officers); but licenses were issued by local municipalities, so mine read “Palmerston North City Council Driver’s License” on the front of the booklet. No photo, just name, address, type of license, and stickers pasted in for validity – you could buy them for up to 5 years. That was my ID for several trips to Australia, no passport required for NZ citizens back then. The only problem I had was in Japan in 1971 when I went to get a Japanese license: you don’t have to take a road test if you can show you’ve held a license for some years in a country where you drive on the left. So I showed my PNCC license, and they checked it against their book of driver’s licenses around the world, and couldn’t find it. It took a bit of explaining, as NZ had shifted to a national booklet New Zealand Driver’s License since I had got mine. Now I believe they’re plastic ID card with photo.

    • Historian
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I agree. There should be a national driver’s license, with national standards for what it takes to get one, so that people who move from state to state don’t have to go through the hassle of getting a new one upon changing state residence. To avoid the states losing revenue, they can charge what they want upon issuance and renewal of the license.

      • Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        Driving laws differ somewhat state-to-state – for example right turn on red used to be illegal in some states, and motorcycle lane-sharing/lane-splittIng is legal in California abut not in many states (for no good reason, statitstcs show its safer than being in staffic lanes).

        The differences are minor, but, it’s a case for why states would want to issue local certifications.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      I expect it is to raise revenue in each state.

    • Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      “… as someone who has moved around allot in my life…”

      You misspelled “alot”, which is the official Internet spelling of “a lot.”

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Gee Doc, really sorry about that…maybe often.

  5. bonetired
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Could be interesting. According to this matadornetwork.com/life/64-americans-never-left-u-s/ only about 1/3 of US citizens own one and at $135 for a full passport ( a passport card is cheaper) it could be a nice little earner…..

  6. Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    You can get a compliant license in WA, but it costs you $108.

  7. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    And if we arrive without a passport?

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Yes, if it gets you jail time I predict Missouri will need to build a whole bunch more to hold all the smokers from Iowa. I recall a guy who got on a plane in Hawaii and went to the Philippines. Had a passport but no Visa. They just put him on the next plane back.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        I recall a guy who got on a plane in X and went to the Y. Had a passport but no Visa.

        If they’d followed the rules that we’re compelled to, to be compatible with the US’s security fears, then the passenger would not have been allowed to check in without presenting valid documents.
        Was he actually “put onto” another plane (implying that the “state” in some way or form booked him a seat, or was he simply refused permission to enter the country (which is what a visa is) and left to live – or die – in International Arrivals until he organised a connecting flight.

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          It is pretty simply actually. In the business I was in and also living in Hawaii, as others in the company were, we often flew to other countries in the far east. This guy simply forgot to get the visa, which goes into the passport as a stamp. The Philippines required a Visa for entry. When he went to the airport to go, the airline people simply did not do their job of insuring he had the visa in the passport. That allowed him to end up arriving in Manila without the Visa. They will not let you leave the airport in this condition – they will not let you out of customs. So they had to put him back on a plane back to Hawaii. I hope this is clear enough. This happened some years ago before 9/11 and all that. However, I don’t think it makes any difference.

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted October 17, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

            Ah, we had enough cases similarly in the 80s and 90s that IIRC there was already a regulation requiring the ticketing systems and check-in staff to check visas before check-in. Well before 2001, of course.

  8. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    In US v. Guest, the US Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment guarantees to citizens the right to travel freely from state-to-state. Requiring a citizen to obtain a passport in order to engage in interstate air travel might arguably fall afoul of this right.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      First line of US.Govt’s defence : “Walk. Drive. Unicycle. We’re not impeding your right to travel, just your right to use this method of travel.” Last line of the defence too.

  9. David Coxill
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Each of the 50 states issue their own licences ,what a strange country America is .

    • Historian
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The problem goes back to the founding of the nation and the concept of federalism. At the time of the Revolution and the subsequent ratification of the Constitution, 13 independent states decided it was in their best interests to unite with each other, but at the same time retaining a lot of governmental power in their own hands. Since then the national has been bedeviled in trying to reach the correct balance between federal and state power. This issue results in endless debate that will probably never be resolved since people have such differing views, but certainly federalism creates a giant nuisance for people who move from state to state.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      It is all about that lovely word sovereignty. During the meeting in Philly, Madison fought like hell to put the power in the hands of the federal government but he lost that one. Funny thing is, within a couple of years he was all for the shared power we have. Anyway, we have been living in this hell ever since.

    • biz
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Not that strange. It’s the same for Canada and their provinces, Australia and their states, etc.

  10. Linda Calhoun
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    My husband had to renew his driver’s license last winter.

    He was required to show his birth certificate, passport, W-2 or 1099-SS, plus two documents showing his physical address. He was told that if he didn’t have a passport, he could get a “level 2” license, which would not be valid as ID at airports.

    The whole thing was ridiculous. In the first place, you need your birth certificate in order to get a passport, so that was redundant. Then, they wouldn’t accept a K-1 in place of other tax documents, which discriminates against those of us who are self-employed. Then, many of our bills are either in my name or in the name of our trust, not in his name alone, so it was a problem coming up with two documents showing his physical address.

    And all this was just to RENEW a currently valid license with no address change.

    And, there’s a honkin’-big fee for a passport, which many people can’t come up with.

    So, the new reality is that in order to get a driver’s license, which is the usual form of ID for most people, you have to shell out a load of money, or you can’t get one.

    This is just the next step in voter suppression, folks. All those poor people now will not only not be able to identify themselves in order to register to vote, they won’t be able to drive to work, either.

    Welcome to “democracy”.

    L

    • Historian
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      My guess is that you live in a red state. Voter suppression is a real threat to democracy since it can make the difference in close elections. Republicans and the white base that supports it are so afraid of minorities that they will support almost anything to retain power and their “way of life.” The term “white privilege” is often thrown around recklessly, but voter suppression is one real technique that is used to maintain it.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Actually, I live in a blue state. We were told that these are Federal requirements, not state requirements. But, they have been put into place by Republicans.

        I complained to our Congresswoman’s office about the K-1 thing. I was told that she would try to do something about it, but not to hold my breath.

        L

        • Randy schenck
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          I recently moved from one state to another and had to get new license and registration. In Kansas this required going to three different locations and showing all kinds of stuff. Since I had a passport they did not care to see the birth certificate. But we had to prove residence with bills from utilities or whatever we could produce. Also kind of hard to get when you first moved in. You got license plates in one place and drivers license in another. The only thing that had improved from the past is you no longer had to take the damn written test. That was always a requirement years ago. In Hawaii you had to take a written test and a driving test. Just like High School again.

        • Historian
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          I checked for Illinois regarding what it takes to get a driver’s license. To get a new license, you have to show certain documents, which in most cases would include a birth certificate. However, to renew a license without changes, the requirement is: “An applicant renewing a current Illinois driver’s license or ID card need only present his/her current valid driver’s license or
          ID card if no changes are required.” If you had a change of address, you don’t need to show a birth certificate, just some proof of current residence such as a bank statement.

          So, it would seem that what your husband went through to get his licensed renewed is not a federal requirement.

          • Randy schenck
            Posted October 15, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

            I agree, I think most of this stuff is state. But I believe the fed did come in with additional requirement to the states a few years back maybe. I know that at the time, in Iowa we had to go in to renew our license and they had to send off to the capital for the license to actually be made and then mailed back. They could no longer do it locally. Even in Kansas the license is now hard plastic with all kinds of stuff embedded into it and bar coded on the back. I suspect these states listed by the post have not made these changes and are therefore no complying with these federal regs. I think much of this is to prevent counterfeiting.

          • Derek Freyberg
            Posted October 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

            California will renew on just a current license – been there, done that. You can even renew on-line if you’re young enough (under 70, I think) and have a clean record – done that too. But multiple IDs required for a first license.

  11. Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Alert: residents of nine U.S. states will need a passport for domestic travel in 2018

    Is this constitutional?

    • Randy schenck
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      I think the real issue is requirements that the fed put out to the states on what they required in the issuing of drivers licenses. Most of the states have complied but these have not. So licenses in these states don’t comply with the federal requirements. Kind of crazy but that is America, where states rights and federal rights equal lots of wrongs.

    • Thanny
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      No, it isn’t. But it’s going to take a lawsuit to settle the issue.

  12. Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    A warmup for Voter Suppression ID?

  13. Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Has this been verified by SNOPES?

  14. Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    In Arizona, we have to get a “Voluntary Travel ID” by the same deadline. It looks virtually identical to our driver’s license. I suppose the “Voluntary” part makes it less Draconian.

    https://www.azdot.gov/motor-vehicles/driver-services/arizona-voluntary-travel-id/overview

  15. biz
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Ok, that’s a bit of a misleading, clickbait-y headline there, Jerry.

    Yes, people in those states will need a valid form of federal ID (not specifically just a passport) to board a plane – to anywhere. No, they will not need a passport to cross the line into another state.

    It is stupid but it isn’t what the headline implies.

  16. Posted October 16, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    This could be good for New Mexicans since a whole lot of folks in thia country, including some TSA agents, do not know that New Mexico is a US state. “Not really new, not really Mexico.”


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