The final three states in question have been granted a REAL ID extension.

By Cailey Rizzo
Updated: January 09, 2018

American travelers can continue using their driver's licenses to board domestic flights through Oct. 11, 2018.

As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attempts to roll out the REAL ID Act, confusion has ensued for many people at the airport. The act, meant to beef up security for ID cards at the state level, has become an avalanche of constantly changing deadlines.

Last week, the DHS approved extensions for the final three states — New York, Louisiana, and Michigan — to continue accepting licenses as identification at the airport through the October 2018 deadline.

American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands are still under review. If extensions are not approved by Jan. 22, citizens of the territories will need to apply for a separate REAL ID-compliant card or show up at the airport with their passports — even for domestic flights.

Other states that have been granted REAL ID extensions (meaning travelers can continue using state IDs at the airport) until at least Oct. 11, 2018 include Alaska, California, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington. Residents of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have also been issued the October extension.

All states not mentioned are already compliant with REAL ID regulations as of Jan. 5, 2018. Residents can continue to use their current state IDs through Oct. 1, 2020, at which point they must have a new ID that is compliant with federal regulations to fly.

Travelers can check the status of their state’s compliance on the DHS website.

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