TSA Officer Lisa Diaz chats with a Santa Barbara airport passenger about items disallowed from carry-on luggage at a press conference held to announce the need for Real ID by October 1. | Credit: Courtesy

More than 4,000 firearms were in the carry-on luggage that passengers attempted to bring through the nation’s airports last year — that’s about 12 a day, said Lorie Dankers, who was at the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport Thursday morning to discuss the new identification requirements for flight. The firearms statistic — and the table full of knives, martial arts tools, hand tools, and baseball bats (mini and full-size) on display in the airport lobby — all went to illustrate the further disruption and delays at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint likely to occur if many passengers are lacking a “Real ID” by October 1, 2020.

“If passengers don’t have the Real ID at the TSA checkpoint, they won’t get access,” Dankers warned. “They’re essentially grounded, even if they are ticketed.” Dankers used the family-emergency flight as an example of how seriously the TSA will take the necessity for the correct ID: “You will not get an exemption,” she said.

TSA will also accept identification beyond a driver’s license in lieu of a Real ID driver’s license or identification card. The Homeland Security website lists state identification cards, passports and passport cards, military IDs, tribal IDs, trusted traveler cards like Global Entry and SENTRI, border-crossing cards, and many other types of identification that work, as well as those that don’t work, like a weapon permit.


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