Louisiana and about 16 other states are having to act fast. A program Louisiana declined to participate in – goes into effect January 15, 2013. It's called the “Real ID.” The concern is that airlines are about to require the new identification. Since Louisiana is not a participant – it may take more than the state's driver's license to get on an airplane.
Greg Roberts of the Lafayette Regional Airport is waiting to learn what forms of identification will be allowed next year. One suggestion is to get a passport, just in case. “People need to know about that and start the process as early as they can,” says Roberts.
Marcel Jean travels quite often. He has no problem with enhanced ID screening when it comes to flying. “Maybe for a flight you might feel it's not conducive enough to give up information; but when you go to school and DMV you have to give information there.”
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Stephen Campbell says the office is working to upgrade the system. However, it won't be complete by the deadline next year.
“We're just hopeful that things that we have done here in Louisiana will still allow Louisiana driver licenses or ID cards to meet the federal requirement and citizens of Louisiana will be able to fly as they do now.” Plus, Campbell says he's not telling anyone to go out and apply for a passport. Campbell says he's hopeful that Louisiana state-issued identification will be accepted as proper airline travel ID.