Just FYI —if you live in these five states you’ll need a passport every time you travel in the US

Ever heard of the Real ID Act? That’s okay — most people haven’t. In short, the Real ID Act was enacted in May of 2005, and it allowed the government to tighten security by way of identification cards.Though the Real ID Act definitely affects some people more than others, it has recently come up in the news again. Due to the Real ID Act, residents of four states soon will not be able to use their driver’s licenses or state IDs to fly within the continental United States.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, residents of New York, Louisiana, Minnesota, and New Hampshire will soon need more than a driver’s license to fly on commercial planes. American Samoa is also included on the list. Though the reason these states are being singled out is not particularly clear, it is said that their state ID cards are not compatible with the new laws under the Real ID Act.

According to Travel and Leisure:

The law comes into place sometime in 2016, but there will be a three month grace period for those trying to fly within those states. People who are travelling and are unaware of the new law will have a chance to get their passport and will (hopefully) not be turned away from a flight.

Residents of the aforementioned states: if you do not yet have a passport or an Enhanced Driver’s License, check with your proper local establishments to prepare yourself for the new change.

Featured image via Shutterstock.