Catching a flight? California residents may need a passport starting Jan. 22

State News

In two weeks, millions of Californians who do not have a passport or other federally accepted ID may be barred from flying the friendly skies. 

Tomorrow — Thursday, Jan. 10 — marks the deadline by which the DMV needs to be granted an extension for its Real ID program.

If the current extension is not renewed by the Department of Homeland Security by tomorrow, all California’s driver licenses and ID cards will be invalid for domestic air travel starting Jan. 22. 

This figure includes the 2.4 million Californians who already have a real ID. 

According to the TSA’s website, travelers may still be allowed to board their flight if their identity can be verified through other means.

The extension that the DMV is requesting would allow Californians to continue to fly while DHS considers the DMV’s Real ID application. 

In Nov. 2018, DHS notified the California DMV that the process for providing residents with federally compliant ID cards was not adequate, and because of those inadequacies, those who received those cards would need to submit additional documentation to validate their cards. 

If California receives an extension, that would give residents until Oct. 1, 2020 to get a REAL ID compliant license/ID, or another acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel. 

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