A South Carolina driver’s license will serve you well if you’re motoring across the country.
By 2018, not so much if you fly.
Travelers winging their way across the country this holiday season may notice some new airport signs about the type of identification necessary for boarding.
If you have a South Carolina driver’s license, pay attention.
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The signs, which the Transportation Security Administration began installing earlier this month, inform fliers that starting in January 2018 they may need a second form of identification in addition to a state issued driver’s license in order to board a plane.
“Effective January 22, 2018, TSA will only accept state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards if they are issued by a REAL ID compliant state or a non-compliant state with an extension,” according to a recent TSA news release.
South Carolina is among nine states that fall squarely in the “non-compliant” category when it comes to the REAL ID Act, according to information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the TSA.
What is the REAL ID Act?
Drafted by Congress in the wake the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the REAL ID Act is intended to ensure driver’s licenses were more uniform from state to state and more difficult to forge.
The act, which was signed into law in 2005 by President George W. Bush with the recommendation of the federal 9/11 Commission, provided states with more than a decade to “established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Why isn’t my South Carolina ID compliant with the act?
Rep. Mark Sanford, who was South Carolina’s governor when the act was passed, is a vocal opponent of REAL ID, arguing it is akin to the implementation of a national identification program and a violation of state and individual privacy rights.
The act “clearly violates the Founders’ intent in offering the 10th Amendment, which states that all powers not given to the federal government are given to the people or the states,” Sanford said in a statement last month.
Sanford also balked at the cost of implementing the act, saying in the statement that law constitutes “a $17-billion unfunded federal mandate on states and, if not deferred or stopped, will amount to yet another federal usurpation of state authority.”
In 2007, South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill that forbid the state from complying with the act. Gov. Nikki Haley, who at the time was a member of the state House of a Representatives, voted in favor of the bill.
What does this mean for me?
The biggest impact of the bill will be felt starting Jan. 22, 2018, when South Carolina driver’s license or identification cardholders will need an additional form of ID to pass through TSA security checkpoints at airports.
The most common forms of alternative identification are passports and military IDs.
For a full list of acceptable forms of ID, visit the TSA’s website at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.
What does this mean for my kids?
“TSA does not require children under 18 (years old) to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States,” according to the administration website.
For more information on REAL ID, including a list of frequently asked questions about the act, visit www.dhs.gov/secure-drivers-licenses.