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ASHRAE Travel Information, Transportation Policies and Reimbursement Methods

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Domestic US Air Travel Policy – The REAL ID Act

Effective on January 22, 2018 all domestic US air travelers will be required to either:

  1. Have a driver’s license issued by a State that is compliant with the REAL ID Act or granted an extension; or
  2. Show an alternative form of acceptable identification such as a US Passport to board their flight.

What is the REAL ID Act and why does it matter for US Business Travelers?
The REAL ID Act (Act) requires State driver’s licenses to meet minimum security standards for issuance and production. The Act requires States to include, at a minimum, the following information and features on each driver's license and identification card issued to a person by the State:

  1. The person's full legal name.
  2. The person's date of birth.
  3. The person's gender.
  4. The person's driver's license or identification card number.
  5. A digital photograph of the person.
  6. The person's address of principle residence.
  7. The person's signature.
  8. Physical security features designed to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication of the document for fraudulent purposes.
  9. A common machine-readable technology, with defined minimum data elements.

For air travel and certain other purposes, federal agencies – including the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – are prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from States not meeting the Act’s minimum standards unless those States have been granted extensions.

Passengers with driver’s licenses issued by a State that is compliant with the Act (or a State that has been issued an extension) will still be able to use their driver’s licenses or identification cards. However, without a proper form of identification as required by TSA – – passengers will not be allowed to board their flight and will face a significant travel disruption.

Currently, half the US states are compliant with the Act and the rest have received a temporary extension but many of these extensions are set to expire well before January 2018. Please go to the Department of Homeland Security’s website at – – to check whether your state is compliant or has received an extension in order to properly prepare for the Act’s requirements prior to the effective date.

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