Last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced that anyone traveling with a driver's license from New York, New Hampshire, Louisiana, and and Minnesota will need a second form of identification for domestic flights come 2016. A bit of background: The real problem lies in the fact that you don't need to prove your U.S. citizenship to obtain a New York driver's license, thus violating the Real ID Act of 2005, which states that travelers need to display proof of citizenship before getting on a flight. While the change is surely coming, Homeland Security has announced that New Yorkers have a little more time before they need to worry about getting that passport in their hands.
Many people were unhappy with the quick policy change—current driver's licenses were promised to be good enough "at least until 2016"—but the Department of Homeland Security has recognized our apprehension for rush-ordering a passport and given New Yorkers another year to take care of the lengthy process (a specific timeline for this extension has not been determined). After all, having a passport on hand is always a good move—and even better when you don't have to cut into your savings to save that trip to visit grandma.
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.