Louisiana residents may soon need a passport to fly to other American cities.
The mandate is a result of the 2005 “Real ID Act”. The act requires enhanced identification in order to board planes. The Department of Homeland Security said Louisiana is one of four states issuing licenses that are not in compliance. Louisiana has applied for a waiver in order to opt out of this change, but there is no word yet on when a decision could be made.
Some Hub City residents are not in favor of this possible mandate.
“The reality is, it’s already hard enough for just some people just to fly with a driver’s license or a state issued id,” says Karen Gouch.
“I think it would be overkill, but wait and see. See what the details are,” says Mark Bourque.
Lafayette Regional Airport, Executive Director Steven Picou says if the law does go into effect there is no way of getting around it. “I can only speculate at this point that they would not be allowed to board the aircraft or they would have to have other concessions made in place, but if they came to a hard fast rule I would think the passenger would not be allowed to board the aircraft.”
Enhanced licenses would require drivers to provide a social security number as well as proof of identity and residency.
Mark Gannaway is a frequent flyer. Gannaway feels this will create a safer environment for passengers. “I don’t have a problem with that. When I crossed into Canada a couple weeks ago, it was very easy. I just use that and so I think they are probably important that we should all have anyways.”
If the law does go into effect, passengers 18 and under will not require a passport if they are with a companion.
If the waiver is not granted for Louisiana, the act could go into effect as soon as January 1, 2016.