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Could SC Residents Need a Passport to Fly?

This would include flying domestically too!

October 17, 2017

Traveling can already be a massive pain in the butt with flight delays, baggage fees, and the rising cost of plane tickets. But things could be even more challenging if you're a resident of South Carolina beginning this January. 

TSA guidelines have changed, and nine states will soon require its residents to have a passport to fly anywhere. That includes domestic flights within the United States. Why the sudden change in policy?

"Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards."

Essentially SC and the other states ID's aren't deemed secure enough.

The cut off is January 22nd, 2018 when residents of the nine states including South Carolina would need to have a passport or another acceptable form of ID. These forms of ID include:

DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)

Permanent resident card

Border crossing card

DHS-designated enhanced driver's license

Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID

HSPD-12 PIV card

Foreign government-issued passport

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

Transportation worker identification credential

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

U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

But what if you don't have one of those either? Many of the nine states are working to get their state issued ID's and driver's licenses up to TSA standards. In the meantime, you can apply for an extension. You can read all about the extension policy here

According to the SC DMV website, "The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted South Carolina a grace period for REAL ID enforcement through January 22, 2018. Previously, the state had an extension until October 10, 2017. As of this posting on October 3, 2017, your current, unexpired SC driver's license or identification card can be used as your identification to pass security at airports nationwide until January 22, 2018."

The real ID's which will allow you to board a plane without a passport to fly domestically will be available in 2018.