Domestic Fliers Will Need Real ID Compliant Identification in 2023
As we enter the next decade, we will need to see a face and have a unique identifier on all our aircraft and personal belongings.
On January 30, a law passed by the U.S. Senate, the Secure Identities Act of 2013, will require the Department of Homeland Security to develop a national system of identification for all passengers flying with domestic airline carriers that will include an enhanced driver’s license, passport, or military ID. It will also apply to noncommercial aircraft pilots and their flight personnel.
There’s a big fight to be made over this legislation, which many argue, is in essence a federal mandate to identify everyone in the United States. The bill was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), both of whom are seeking an amendment to eliminate the requirement for a national identification. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is backing the amendment, and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) is proposing a nationwide mandate in the U.S. Constitution.
The argument for a national ID is simple: It would solve the identity problem and it would make flying more safe.
Many of my friends who’ve done international flying in the past argued against requiring a national identification system on domestic flights because they believed U.S. aviation regulations are already sufficient.
In other words, they were confident they could board with an ordinary driver’s license and a valid passport, since the FAA has regulations for such things to prevent fraud.
This argument proves to be highly flawed, however.
For years, FAA regulations have prevented one of the most common aviation identity fraud attempts: pilots pretending to be pilots to illegally join several different airlines and using stolen military IDs to board airplanes. It’s an example of the FAA’s concern for safety.
One of the biggest problems with U.S. aviation is its lack of commonality. Every one of the more than 600 airlines