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Starting next year, Pa. driver's license is not a valid ID for air travel

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Starting a year from now, business travelers from Pennsylvania will need an identification other than a driver's license when they travel by plane to another destination in the U.S.

A Pennsylvania driver’s license will no longer be valid to board a plane.

Beginning on Jan. 22, 2018, travelers will need an alternative form of I.D., such as a passport, military I.D. or permanent resident card in order, to pass through security checkpoints at airports, according to a document from the International Association of Travel Agents, a trade group based in Miami.

Aside from Pennsylvania, the law will affect travelers from eight other states – Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington.

The I.D.’s from these nine states do not meet the federal government’s security standards, according to the document. The REAL I.D. Act, passed by Congress in 2005, dictates that federal agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration are prohibited from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and I.D. cards from states not meeting the act’s minimum standards.

“They passed a law in 2005, and states were supposed to comply – and Pennsylvania didn’t do that,” said Maryellen Iobst, owner/manager of Travel by Iobst in Salisbury Township. “It’s going to be a rush on passports just because of the I.D. It’s absolutely critical.”

For a state driver’s license to be acceptable for the TSA, the state government must verify every I.D. applicant’s identity, put anti-counterfeit technology in the production of the card and conduct background checks on those who issue driver’s licenses.

The TSA said it has begun posting signs at airports notifying travelers that beginning January 2018 it will start enforcing REAL I.D. requirements at airport security checkpoints.

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Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh and read his blog, “Can You Dig It,” at http://www.lvb.com/section/can-you-dig-it.

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