Changes ahead for air travelers, visitors to military bases related to REAL ID Act

Passports are the kind of thing you think you’ll need if you’re traveling outside the United States, but will you soon need one to hop on a flight within our own country’s borders?

“It’s kind of crazy hearing that, and today was my first day hearing that from you guys, but yes it’s kind of weird in a way,” Traveler Kirk Chaney told Fox 46 Charlotte.

Some passengers said the thought of having to have a passport to travel from state to state is “ridiculous,” but there are signs at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport warning travelers to get ready.

Starting on January 22, 2018 people living in South Carolina and eight other states, not including North Carolina, will have to have some form of federal government identification, such as a passport or a passport card, to travel on a flight within the United States. Click here for information and fees to obtain a passport or a passport card.

A South Carolina driver’s license won’t be accepted because as of right now, the state is not in compliance with the Real ID Act, which says identification cards should be consistent across all states and hard to replicate.

“It would cause a lot of confusion because a lot of people don’t have passports,” Chaney said.

Some travelers were just surprised by the requirement saying they had no clue until Fox 46 Charlotte told them. Others talked about the cost and the time it takes to get a passport.

But Chaney said he sees the benefits. “I look at it now I wouldn’t have to really worry about having a passport to travel outside the country or go on cruise ships or trips.”

Also, starting January 30, 2017, The Department of Homeland Security tells Fox 46 Charlotte that South Carolina drivers’ licenses won’t be accepted to get into a federal building, military base or a nuclear power plant.