The deadline approaches for the federally regulated “Real ID”. Passed in 2005, Louisiana is one of 16 states not participating in the program, which sets federal regulations for state IDs. January 15th is the date set for the program to go into effect, but Director of Aviation for Lafayette Regional Airport, Greg Roberts, is hopeful for an extension.
“Through state and federal legislation, we are hopeful to get an extension, because as it stands today, unless you have a passport, in January you won't be able to get on a plane.”
Representative Brett Geymann, who co-authored the documents to opt out of the Real ID program, said there is not much the state can do as far as an extension. Approval must come from the federal government.
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles' Commissioner Stephen Campbell said they are working on changing the Louisiana state license in many ways, which could prevent citizens from being forced to fly with a passport.
“We're satisfies that all the things we are doing will make Louisiana documents satisfy Real ID requirements and we are waiting for federal approval.”
Campbell said he is waiting to receive a letter from the Department of Homeland Security that will give them time to make those changes.