Louisiana faces Jan. 15 Real ID deadline

Beginning in January, Louisiana residents may be unable to use their state-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards to take domestic flights or enter federal courthouses and other federally secured buildings.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has set Jan. 15 as the deadline for states to comply with the Real ID Act, a federal law passed in 2005 that has been modified over the years as many states refused — or were unable — to comply with the original law.

The act sets in place security standards for identification cards issued by states and stipulates protocols state agencies must adhere to when residents apply for identification.

The law affects only state identification cards and driver’s licenses, not other official forms of identification.

“The state driver’s licenses issued by a motor vehicle agency, it does meet the standards right now. But come Jan. 15, it may not,” said Stephen Campbell, commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles. Residents still will be able to use their U.S. passports to pass through security, if they have one, he added.


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