Real I.D., Have It Or You Can’t Fly – Mandatory Compliance By October 1, 2020

We’ve been announcing the necessity for complying with the Real ID Act of 2005 almost from the start.  Now, the deadline is fast approaching and for those who believe they have plenty of time left (think, long DMV lines) or that compliance is a choice, they will be unpleasantly surprised.

Summary of the Act: All states will be required to be in compliance by October 1, 2020.  In essence, all state-issue I.D., will have to meet the standards of a Real I.D. Basically, a Real I.D. is a state-issued enhanced driver’s (or non-driver’s id) license without which one cannot fly – even domestically without additional forms of identification – AND that pertains also to work visas, delivery bonds (for aliens, a form of bail, so to speak) and physical border barriers.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of this law, below are the basics:

Real ID Act

The Real ID Act of 2005Pub.L. 109–13, 119 Stat. 302, enacted May 11, 2005, is an Act of Congress that modifies U.S. federal law pertaining to securityauthentication, and issuance procedures standards for state driver’s licenses and identity documents, as well as various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism.

The law sets forth requirements for state driver’s licenses and ID cards to be accepted by the federal government for “official purposes”, as defined by the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Homeland Security has defined “official purposes” as boarding commercially operated airline flights, and entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants, although the law gives the Secretary the unlimited authority to require a “federal identification” for any other purposes.[4]

The Real ID Act implements the following:

  • Title II of the act establishes new federal standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards.
  • Changing visa limits for temporary workers, nurses, and Australian citizens.
  • Funding some reports and pilot projects related to border security.
  • Introducing rules covering “delivery bonds” (similar to bail, but for aliens who have been released pending hearings).
  • Updating and tightening the laws on application for asylum and deportation of aliens for terrorism.
  • Waiving laws that interfere with construction of physical barriers at the borders.

On December 20, 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced that implementation of Phase 1 would begin on January 20, 2014, which followed a yearlong period of “deferred enforcement”. There are four planned phases, three of which apply to areas that affect relatively few U.S. citizens—e.g., DHS headquarters, nuclear power plants, and restricted and semi-restricted federal facilities such as military bases.[5] On January 8, 2016, DHS issued an implementation schedule for Phase 4, stating that starting January 22, 2018 “passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight”. Starting October 1, 2020 “every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.”[6] As of November 2018, 38 states and territories have been certified as compliant, and 18 have been granted extensions.[7]

Save yourselves the last-minute, hours-long visit to the DMV in your respective states by applying for your Real I.D. as soon as possible.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.




Flare Gun, Yes; Flares, No. Updated Flight Travel Rules For Carry-On/Checked Items.

when i fly

Having spent the last two weeks traveling nearly 15, 000 travel miles, from JFK , LAX, IAD and MIA to several small, regional airports in between, it occurs to me that the regulations for items that one can carry through TSA and ultimately onboard and alternately, check-in, have changed significantly.  Hence, in this week’s Beacon Bulletin, we bring you the latest official carry-on/check-in guidelines from the TSA.

On Domestic Flights:


                                                  Carry-On Checked
Alcohol                                                             Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Creamy Dips and Spreads                        Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Fresh Whole Fruits                                     Item is allowed. Item is allowed.
Gravy                                                                Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Jam and Jelly                                                Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Maple Syrup                                                  Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Oils and Vinegars                                        Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Pies and Cakes                                              Item is allowed. Item is allowed.
Salad Dressing                                             Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Salsa and Sauces                                         Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Soups                                                               Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.
Yogurt                                                             Less than 3.4 oz / 100 ml allowed. Item is allowed.

FIREARMS: Not allowed as carry-on, but allowable as check-in:  guns, rifles, bb guns, flare guns, starter pistols, air-compressed guns, realistic replicas of gun or parts of guns and, ammo.  As for check-in, properly registered guns MUST be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Absolutely not allowed at all, carry on or checked-in are flares, gun lighters and gun powder.


FLAMMABLES: NO CARRY-ON/NO CHECKED-IN: Aerosols (other than personal care), blasting caps, chlorine, dynamite, fire extinguishers, fireworks, fuels, flammable liquids and gels, gas torches, gasoline, hand grenades, lighter fuel, liquid bleach, recreational oxygen, spillable batteries, spray paint, strike-anywhere matches, torch lighters, turpentine, paint thinners and vehicle airbags.


Allowed as Carry-On but NOT as Check-In:

Lighters : (Lighters without fuel are permitted in checked baggage.) Lighters with fuel are prohibited in checked baggage, unless they adhere to the Department of Transportation exemption, which allows up to two fueled lighters if properly enclosed in a DOT approved case.

Safety Matches: One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.

Small Compressed Gas Cartridges Up to two in life vests and two spares. The spares must accompany the personal flotation device and presented as one unit.

None are allowed as carry-on but all permissible as check-in are: billy clubs, black jacks, brass knuckles, kubatons, night sticks, nunchucks, self-defense sprays, stun guns, throwing starts.

SHARP OBJECTS: Only disposable razors are allowed as carry-on.  Knives, ice picks, meat cleavers, sabers, scissors and even swords are allowed to be checked in.

SPORTING GOODS: Only skates, roller and ice, and skate boards are allowed as carry-on.  All others sports equipment have to be checked in.

TOOLS: Only screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers are allowed as carry-on.   Axes, drills, hammers and saws must be checked in.

When it comes to air safety, please pay attention to the rules.  The TSA and law enforcement are not playing around – nor should controlling potentially dangerous items while traveling be taken lightly.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.