Beginning February 5, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin enforcing compliance with the Real ID Act to better protect the American people. Fifty-five out of fifty-six states and territories are currently compliant or have received an extension until October 10, 2018. Passengers who have licenses issued by a state or territory that is compliant or has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual.As of today, American Samoa (AS) is the only territory that has not reached compliance or received an extension. This means that starting February 5, 2018, residents will not be able to use AS-issued driver’s licenses or identification cards to fly domestically, access federal facilities (including military bases), or nuclear power plants.American Samoa formerly had an extension that allowed federal agencies to continue to accept its driver’s licenses and identification cards. However, that extension expired on October 10, 2017, triggering a three month grace period before enforcement would begin on February 5, 2018. American Samoa has subsequently not been able to demonstrate a clear and achievable plan for compliance as needed to receive a new extension. DHS has worked extensively with every state and territory to provide time, technical assistance, and grants to support compliance with the REAL ID security requirements. The Department continues to urge territorial officials to take action, allowing residents of American Samoa to obtain driver’s licenses or identification cards that meet these enhanced security standards.
Leave a Reply