You Can Vote Without An ID But I Need To Have A New Special ID To Fly?

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In order to comply with a federal regulation from 2005, Arizona will be requiring $25 to issue an identification card that’s used for nothing except domestic flights and entering restricted government buildings.

The change is in response to a law passed by Congress that requires Americans to ditch their state-issued driver’s license in favor of the federally ‘Voluntary Travel ID.’

Airports Affected

There are only five airports that will be affected by the new rules.

  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International, which is the largest and busiest airport in the state. Operating as a public joint civil-military airport, it is the 34th busiest airport in the world and handles more than 120,000 passengers per day.
  • Phoenix Mesa-Gateway Airport, an international airport that combines an Air Force Base. It often takes overflow passengers from Phoenix Sky Harbor.
  • Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, which takes around 60,000 passengers per year and is served by only one airline.
  • Tucson International, a public joint civil-military airport and the second busiest in the state
  • Yuma International, which combines operations with the US Marine Corps

There are dozens of airports in Arizona, including six international airports, but these are the only ones who will be requiring the ID to start.

‘Voluntary’ Not Voluntary At These Airports

After an announce from the Arizona Department of Transportation, residents of the state will be required to carry a new kind of identification in order to pass through Transportation Security at airports. As listed above, the move will start with the newly named ‘Voluntary Travel IDs’ being required from five airports and the change will come into effect on October 1st, 2020.

The name is confusing. At first glance it sounds like the ID card itself is voluntary, but it looks like they mean that anyone who isn’t forced to travel will need this ID card.

[FLASHBACK: Bill Clinton Meets Loretta Lynch on Arizona Tarmac]

As well, these new identification cards will be required to access certain federal and military bases. But, minors traveling with an adult who fulfills the requirement of the new ID will be able to forgo needing to purchase one. It is unclear whether an Arizona resident may skip the trouble by driving to an airport in California or New Mexico.

The purchase cost of the IDs will be $25, half a day of wasted time in the MVD and they will last for eight years. In order to get your Voluntary Travel ID you can wait in line or book an appointment and bring along your birth certificate or passport, along with a social security card, and two documents that prove residency in Arizona.

According to local paper, presenting a driver’s license is not compliant with the new REAL ID Act.

So, in the end, the ID card is just looking to prove your Arizona residency, because your passport only indicates your nationality. What problem this aims to fix is beyond me. Is terrorism really caused by people holding American passports?

[SEE ALSO: Paris Bomber Held Syrian Refugee Passport]


The REAL ID Act was approved and enacted by Congress in 2005 and it amended federal laws that relate to security and authentication procedures surrounding the use of state driver’s licenses along with other identifying documents in the pursuit of terrorism. The long title of the act explains its purpose and simultaneously sends us all back in a time machine to the feel of the world after Bush was elected a second time:

“An Act to establish and rapidly implement regulations for State driver’s license and identification document security standards, to prevent terrorists from abusing the asylum laws of the United States, to unify terrorism-related grounds for inadmissibility and removal, and to ensure expeditious construction of the San Diego border fence.”

What’s that about a border fence? You know what, nevermind.

Anyway, the REAL Act alters visa limits for temporary workers, funds reports on border security, waives laws that “interfere” with the construction of a Great Big Wall at all borders and gives new federal standards on the use of state driver’s licenses and other forms of state-issued ID.

Several States Still Must Comply with REAL ID Act

So far, several states including Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington have been granted an extension on one aspect of the Act. These states were supposed to start requiring their residents to bring their passports before they fly anywhere — even within the United States! — but have not yet forced this change on their people yet. Good.

Sources: Fox News, Congress, Wikipedia, AZ Family

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