DHS and TSA will stop accepting PR driver license

Looks like within 120 days if nothing changes, you will not be able to enter a Federal building or take a flight unless something changes.

Apparently the Driver license from PR and about 9 other states are not going to be acceptable soon unless the states meets the "Real ID" requirements soon.

There is a lot of controversy about this as to when it has to be announced and when it takes effect.

It is unclear exactly what PR needs to do to meet the Real ID requirements, but some of it has also to do with the sharing of information.

Thank you for this information.  I will pass it along to some folks that it will affect.

Good idea to get a passport until the mess clears.
Here is an article about it. … 86631.html
The article is somewhat confusing as it seems that the states are asking for extension, so it should be in place now, yet some of the article mentions Oct 2020. Not sure what to make of it. But several of the states are already compliant while others are not.

PS those going into Military bases will likely have issues sooner, not sure how this affect VA hospitals and other non-security related federal offices.

Yes this topic was brought up a while back.  It's crazy.  The US does what ever to screw up the system

I was just reading about this the other day.  Here is another article with a list of the states and their compliance. … new-rules/

I'm in Illinois and it is not compliant or even have asked for an extension :(  I do have a passport though.

Imagine New York, Texas, Boston airports closed to its residents because no Real ID after October 10.
The law been around in like forever but the states have not move on it. This is another mess like the PR debt issue that is coming to a head in 2016.

Come on. Lets be honest. If is way too easy to get a drivers license in PR. When I got my license in NY I had to provide birth certificate and 6 points of identification. I know PR made some improvements a few years back. Previously a PR license was a laminated piece of paper.

It is amazing how many states are out of compliance considering this could severely impact millions of people...interesting.

mnieves79 :

Come on. Lets be honest. If is way too easy to get a drivers license in PR. When I got my license in NY I had to provide birth certificate and 6 points of identification. I know PR made some improvements a few years back. Previously a PR license was a laminated piece of paper.

I think they're on the right way to  the REAL ID.
When my license expired  around three years ago they gave me a a license that was valid for 18 months only. When I asked why they told me that my green card was expiring (and they were right). It was then that I noticed that it was mentioned on the license that I was a permanent resident. When I became a US citizen last year I went to DTOP for a new license and had to show either a valid green card or my naturalization certificate. My new license mentions that I'm a citizen.
Also the license is now a plastic card with  a couple of holograms  for security and the photo and signature is printed on the card.
I don't know exactly what has to be improved but I assume it is more on the procedures and not on the physical license.

[edit] according to Wikipedia ( only a couple of states are compliant, NY not being one of them. :)

I just read an article in "El Nuevo Dia" news that says that PR has an extension to October 10. I guess this means all of PR is getting a new license before that.

I have a PR license that is a year old.  Looking at it, I would guess that this one meets the requirements. It is made of hard plastic, my photo was taken with a digital camera at DTOP and it hast five holograms.  I would guess that this new style of card meets the requirements.  I still have a passport, which I carry when sailing to neighboring non-USA islands.

Looks like I need to get a new passport.  Where in PR do you go for a new passport?

Same as US, post office, I think

frogrock :

I have a PR license that is a year old.  Looking at it, I would guess that this one meets the requirements. It is made of hard plastic, my photo was taken with a digital camera at DTOP and it hast five holograms.  I would guess that this new style of card meets the requirements.

That would be a bad assumption. It's not only what the card must contain in terms of data or its physical characteristics, it is as much, if not more, what the state (or PR) requires the applicant to provide in order to get a card.  A state (or PR) must require the applicant to provide the following documentation:

    A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes full legal name and birthdate
    Documentation of birth date
    Documentation of legal status and Social Security number
    Documentation showing name and principal residence address

In short, DHS has determined (rightfully so) that driver's licenses are too easy to obtain and are not suitable from a security standpoint to confirm that the traveler is in fact who he or she claims to be.  It will certainly cause people to change their routine and use their Passport for domestic travel, which probably is a good thing too.

I seem to remember that there were some states issuing driver licenses to illegal immigrants. If what I remember is correct, those driver licenses makes them look like legal residents in most other people eyes that stop at that point.

There were also Serian refugees trying to come in thru Mexico into the US. Likely some did get thru. As shown by the situation in France, should these get driver licenses?

It makes sense to me DHS wants a new ID that shows that the person was better Vetted.

The fact that PR got an extension (till October) means that they're on the right path to comply with the Real ID act. Let's see how it goes...

Sitka, you can apply for a passport at designated post offices, there's a special office (PR State dept) in Plaza Las Americas and you can go to Old San Juan.
Renewal can be done by mail. Instructions here: … renew.html

I had all of that documentation with me, including my passport but, honestly, do not remember the exact procedure, just that I also had my NY license with me so I did not have to take a test.

It used to be desirable to give drivers' licenses to undocumented immigrants. The immigrants were needed to provide American farmers and construction companies with cheap labor, and the migrants needed licenses to drive on behalf of their jobs. Security was not a concern, and in any case, drivers' licenses were not originally intended to serve as citizenship proof or national ID cards.  They were simply local proof of age and ability to drive.

Personally, I think it's a bad idea to link driver's licenses with assumptions about citizenship status or air security. But whatever.

For most states and territories, the deadlines were extended last week to 2018-2020. 23 states and territories are fully compliant. 27 states and territories including PR are attempting to become compliant. … 364681671/

"Five states — Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, Missouri and Washington — and American Samoa have not complied and have not been granted an extension."

Not sure what the new illegal/undocumented immigrates are going to do now since more documentation is needed to get a driver license, maybe immigration will be there at the DMV office waiting for them. However for those that already have one, I don't know what is going to happen.

Yes is not meant to say you are a legal resident but a lot of people will assume so because driver licenses are used for pretty much everything in the US.

News travels slow or nobody is reading the news.

Maybe because we're having too much fun trying to find a realtor who actually returns calls, or find a fishing hole, getting the water turned on, getting insured, OR DECIPHERING ONE OF CARLOS' CHAPTERS ON THE SOLUTION TO THE SOVEREIGN DEBT.  :D  :joking: (just kidding Karl, my future PR biz partner, but owed you that one, jajajja).

Illinois had been granted two extensions. Was denied a third this fall and D-day was looming, imminently.  But, waa-laa, Friday, Homeland Security said Illinois DL's as is (and thus every state for that matter) will be good for two more years until January 22, 2018.  And, If still not compliant, other forms of acceptable ID for 2 more after that until Oct 1, 2020 at which time when every one will need a Real ID compliant ID.  Ya right.

So said Homeland Seguro-bureaus on January 8.  Go to their website if ya think I'm daffy from trying to figuring out his debt solution. :dumbom:

Here's the problem(s) which doomed it. Real ID is an "Unfunded Mandate" meaning the feds in 2005 passed a knee jerk post-9.11 law requiring states to change their DL issuing requirements, but not bankrolling it.

Real ID is requiring biometric data and also things like birth certificates to be scanned and stored if that's what you are using to prove that 'you are you' even though you have had a driver's license for 50 years like me, and walk and talk like a duck,  etc.

Maybe no biggie for small states, but IL estimated a $66 million cost .  (IL can afford it ;)

#2, Certain states, aside from crying poor mouth for this unfunded mandate, have resisted this as a back door attempt at what they are calling an unconstitutional "national ID." I suspect that the  "anti-tyranny" posse's will be strong in those states where these "great protectors of our liberties" are strong, if push comes to shove.  No question in my mind this statue is unworkable and would be headed to the courts as soon as someone was denied, but really probably never--things will be so different in 2020 tech wise that this idea/ concept will be moot

Really, I think the Homeland Seguro-bureaus blinked last Friday. Weren't going to risk putting their foot down only to have ocollective feet being put up theirs and all that entails.

Because, also problematic for this statute is that it includes restricting access to federal buildings. And there are people who don't have/need/want/won't ever get a passport, nor a Real ID DL, or any DL, nor a Real ID State ID card

Remains to be seen how they were going to make that stick, eg, close the doors to the federal courthouse?--that's one of the places where the rubber is going to meet the road if it gets that far which I predict it won't.  A  thorough search including putting your shoes thru the x-ray machine? Fine with me. That ends the risk right there. :gloria  :top:

They search everybody like that at the Federal Courthouse in my town, even Michael Jordan, everyday, for several weeks at his "Image Theft" trial this summer. And lawyers too, get searched like that, unlike in my State Courts. in those buildings, I just flash my little thingy and I by-pass what are sometimes very long lines.

So assume the law goes into effect. What happens if you get "invited" to a federal courthouse (if you know what I mean :sosad: ) or jury duty? No sir/ma'm, you cannot enter without your REAL ID?  Really? OK thanks, please tell the Judge I said: "see ya". :P

Anyway, a Real ID is now not required for domestic flights until Jan  of 2018.  If your state is still not complaint (there will be some) then you will have 2 more years until Oct 2020 to show another form of acceptable REAL ID (passport, State ID, military, a few others). As it stands now.

By then, I think things will be so different in many ways, technology wise, so who knows what will be required to board. They can counterfeit DL's in China so quick and so good (even IL's Sec of State--our DL administrator-- recently admitted he was very surprised at their very high quality) that the little Real ID "Star" and other holograms required on DL's will be on the street before they are even required.

And the feds are then going to be saying "Oh, now that we had the states spend a billion to comply and it ain't worth a crap, now what? A quicky saliva DNA? Ya, that's the ticket. Everybody lick this."

This statute as it is currently written ain't gonna fly, so to speak. Ever. it's cooked. Stick a fork in it.

Who knows what happened behind the scenes last week, but it went from no more extensions for IL, to OK "Land of Lincoln" (and Obama-hahahaha) 2 more years for you + 2 more after that.  So, goose and gander, American citizens are all OK for at least for 2, and then 2 more.

And good luck reading Carlos next chapter.


A little update, looks like the new driver license with Real ID is ready to roll as of today. If you are traveling and don't want to use your passport you will need the new driver license. Basically the same documents will be needed to get the license as before. It looks like the cost is $26 dollars.

No need to be in a hurry unless you travel, current licenses remain valid until expiration or Oct 1 2020, which ever happens first. But if you travel you should get it at CESCO centers in Carolina, Guayama, Ponce, Arecibo, Humacao y Aguadilla, at least for now.

This doesn't go into effect at the airports until Jan 2018

For those with a passport it does not affect travel at all, but get a new license when you can.

Puerto Rico is now issuing new licenses that meet the requirements. Here is a link to the article in El Vocero: … s-real-id/

Same but in English … standards/

I just got my license in July of last year, it expires in July 2020 and have no immediate plans to travel so I am sticking with the one I got. I can't believe that we have to get new licenses.  What the heck are these people doing. Trying to pay the debt with this new requirement?

No, they are telling people to use a passport or get the new Real ID driver license for $26 if they are traveling, otherwise just use current one in PR until it expires.
Passport does cost more but it has its own advantages.

New driver license is only avaible in a handful of places, better to wait until available everywhere.

An other alternative would be the US passport card. 55 bucks for first time applicants, 30 for passport holders. … /card.html

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