The TSA is about to make air travel even more troublesome and annoying for residents of certain states that have not adopted the federal government's REAL ID regulations:
When Congress passed the 2005 Real ID act -- mandating easy sharing (and intrinsic insecurity) -- of driver's license data, they insisted compliance by states with the rules would be voluntary.
But they also threatened "consequences" for noncompliance. After a decade of state/fed jousting, the feds appear ready to visit some of those consequences upon the recalcitrant states: Alaska, California, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Washington (as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands). Previously, these states and territories had been granted exemptions to the Real ID requirements, but they expire on January 10, 2016 (less than two weeks from now), and the DHS has already refused to renew them for Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, and Washington and said they wouldn't renew it for other states.
This could have resulted in some travellers being prevented from returning home because they didn't have their passports with them. But the TSA, prehaps realizing it was about to generate a firestorm of controversy, now says it won't begin implementing the REAL ID requirements for at least 120 days.
How nice...Big Brother is giving folks a break.
And yes, the whole "voluntary" thing the feds trot out from time to time in order to further their control of every aspect of our lives is proven, once again, to be a lie.