Sigh of relief in Louisiana about Real ID extension

Louisiana travelers yet to get a Real ID have until Oct. 10 to do so

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The latest deadline for Louisiana drivers to get Real IDs was supposed to come on Monday, but the state recently received yet another extension for enforcement of the Real ID Act.

Originally approved by Congress in 2005, just over half the states are Real ID compliant more than a decade later.

The Department of Homeland Security will require all 50 states to be Real ID compliant by 2020. But Louisiana's latest extension ends in October.

Louisiana driver's licenses will still be an accepted form of identification for boarding planes and entering federal courthouses until this fall.

The deadline was supposed to be Monday, January 22.

"The last probably two or three weeks we've had maybe two or three phone calls a day," said Shreveport Airport Authority Marketing Manager Mark Crawford. "And until we knew there was an extension, we, of course, were recommending everyone to get a Real I.D."

Real IDs set higher security standards for state-issued identification cards and drivers licenses. So, when a Real I.D. is required to check in at places like Shreveport Regional Airport, people understand the need for the extra layer of security, especially in the years after 9/11.

That included travelers like Diana Araiza who described her support as a balance between security versus privacy.

"When I heard that we were going to need new I.D.'s my first thought was that it was kind of a(n) inconvenience," said Araiza.

She added, "It is a hassle but it, I mean if we need more security, then we need more security. So, that's kind of how I feel."

Araiza isn't alone in her support of Real I.D. program. Fellow traveler Rick McMullin said, "If this will help us to, you know, expedite things than so be it. If it helps with security or safety, so be it."

The official deadline for a Real ID in Louisiana now comes on October 10.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lists 15 alternatives to a REAL ID as an accepted form of identification, including an enhanced driver's license or a passport.

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