Lawmakers seek Real ID compliance, no passports on domestic flights

Lawmakers seek Real ID compliance

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Travel for Louisiana residents was flying dangerously close in the direction of forcing passengers to get a passport even on domestic flights, but now, some lawmakers believe it's time to get the state in compliance with the federal Real ID Act.

"I feel like it's probably a little overdue," air traveler Joseph Dryden said. "I feel like if other states are doing it. It's probably not a big thing."

On Monday, the House Transportation Committee passed a bill that would bring Louisiana in compliance with the Real ID regulations. The federal government set the standards as part of the 9/11 Commission's findings in 2004.
The Real ID gives U.S. citizens access to flights, federal courthouses and military bases, and without the extension Louisiana received last year, a passport would have been needed to fly even within the U.S.

"It's really kind of silly to go state to state and need a passport," traveler Amber Litsey said. "I do travel to Ohio a lot because that's where I'm from. To me, it just seems a little bit silly that I could just use my state-issued ID."

Two years ago, Louisiana legislators voted to comply with the federal program and make state issued driver's licenses that were up to the standards. However, then-governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindal vetoed it over privacy concerns.

But travelers say they'll trade privacy for convenience.

"That part I'm not sure I'm worried about. It's just state to state. It's not that big of a deal," Litsey said.

"I don't think everybody wants to get a passport," Dryden.

The state Office of Motor Vehicles must scan a person's birth certificate and other documents in order to issue a Real ID.

Louisiana travelers have until the beginning of 2018 to get their Real ID compliance driver's license. Every passenger will need a Real ID license to travel domestically by 2020, according to the Department of Homeland Security. 

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.