- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 30, 2015

As soon as 2016, some travelers may no longer be able to get through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports with a driver’s license alone.

Federal officials will soon determine whether TSA agents may start enforcing a 10-year-old law, known as the Real ID Act, that requires states to comply with federal standards when issuing driver’s licenses.

The law was originally passed in 2005 in response to recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, as 19 of the hijackers in the terrorist attacks used state-issued IDs to board planes.

Anyone using an ID issued in a state that does not comply with the federal requirements will not be able to access federal facilities or board commercial airliners once authorities begin enforcing the law.

Most states already meet the requirements or have made improvements to do so and received extensions through 2016, but some states have opposed the federal rules over privacy concerns.

More than a dozen have passed laws barring their motor vehicle departments from complying with the regulations, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The new standards require more stringent proof of identity and could allow users’ information to be shared in a national database, The New York Times reported.

According to a Department of Homeland Security list of compliant and noncompliant states updated Tuesday, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Washington have not received an extension and will be subject to enforcement on Jan. 10.

Minnesota has already been listed as noncompliant and California is currently under review for an extension.

The federal government must give states at least 120 days notice before restricting air travel and not states have issued a notice of warning yet,  according to Popular Mechanics magazine.

In the wake of the Paris attacks and growing fear over terrorism, Homeland Security officials insist that there will be no more delays in enforcing the law. In recent months, federal officials have visited Minnesota and other states to stress that the clock was ticking, saying that while participation was voluntary states would face consequences for failing to comply, according to the Times.

• Kellan Howell can be reached at khowell@washingtontimes.com.

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