Government & Politics

Missouri driver’s license may not be accepted ID at KCI in 2018

Signs posted at KCI airport warn Missouri passengers about future changes in identification requirements.
Signs posted at KCI airport warn Missouri passengers about future changes in identification requirements. .

Got a Missouri driver’s license? Beginning in January 2018, it may not be sufficient identification to board a commercial airplane.

Signs now posted at Kansas City International Airport warn passengers with Missouri driver’s licenses about a change beginning Jan. 22, 2018. At that time, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will start enforcing what’s known as REAL ID requirements at airport security checkpoints. Travelers seeking to use a state-issued driver’s license can only use such a document if it was issued by a REAL ID-compliant state or a non-compliant state with an extension.

Currently, Missouri is one of nine non-compliant states in the U.S. The others are Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington. Kansas is compliant.

Passengers may use an alternate form of identification such as a passport, military ID or permanent resident card. More information is available at

The REAL ID act was passed in Congress in 2005 and established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses. It set forth more stringent requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency if state driver’s licensees were to be valid for federal purposes. And it prohibits federal agencies, like the TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards that don’t meet those requirements for certain purposes, including boarding commercial aircraft.

Current Missouri law, which passed in 2009 to protect privacy concerns of Missouri citizens, prohibits the Missouri Department of Revenue from complying with the federal act. Because of that law, Missouri licenses are already no longer a valid form of identification at military bases and certain other federal facilities.

Several Kansas City area lawmakers say they hope to address this problem in 2017, so that Missouri travelers will still be able to use their driver’s licenses as identification to board a plane.

Rep. Kevin Corlew, who represents a Northland district in the Missouri General Assembly, has pre-filed HB 151, which would require the state revenue department to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards to those who want them.

“I met with a lot of constituents this past year who were frustrated that their Missouri driver’s license did not meet the standards to be used for federal official purposes,” Corlew said in a news release. He said he wants to address that issue.

State Sen. Ryan Silvey of Clay County told a Kansas City audience Monday night that he too hopes to work on legislation this session to avoid the possibility that Missouri travelers may have to obtain a passport or some other form of identification to fly on a plane. Silvey told a gathering that many of the privacy concerns have been addressed since the 2009 Missouri law was adopted.

Lynn Horsley: 816-226-2058, @LynnHorsley