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At airport security, signs point to confusion about driver’s licenses

In my recent travels through Las Vegas and Long Beach airports, I have seen a Transportation Security Administration[1] notification that prompts my question. It mentions that in 2018, driver s licenses and state identification cards must comply with federal government standards in order to be used to board an airplane. I am curious if I will have problems for future flights. I recently received my renewed California driver s license. Paul Perez

Whittier

Answer: The signs Perez writes about have to do with Real ID, an effort to make driver s licenses comply with federal standards. Signs that went up toward the end of 2016, when Obama was still president, said, Starting Jan. 22, 2018, you will need an alternate ID to fly if you have a driver s license or ID issued by any of the following states: Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington.

In small print below, the signs explain that the Real ID act establishes the minimum security standards for state-issued driver s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like the TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for certain official purposes, including boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft from states that do not meet these standards. Another sign directs you to TSA s website[2] for more information. You can find that information at www.lat.ms/tsandrealid. How did we get to this point and what does it mean to you? It has been a long and winding road and could change again with the new administration.

The 9/11 Commission, convened after the attacks, addressed perceived weaknesses in identification. Congress in 2005 OK d a law that toughened requirements for driver s licenses. Simple math tells you it has been easier to make the law than to put it in place. Slow forward to 2016 when a series of deadlines (2016, 2018 and 2020) were set up for driver s license compliance.

To see which states are OK, check out the Department of Homeland Security map[3] at www.lat.ms/dhscompliancemap, a sort of naughty/nice list that shows which states licenses are OK (23 states and the District of Columbia) and which are not. But click on Missouri, for instance, and it gives you a big red bar that says Not compliant. Then it explains that as of January 2016 (the first Real ID deadline), Missouri licenses could be used for identification to get on a plane but not for entrance to nuclear power plants and federal facilities. By Jan. 22, 2018 (the second deadline), Missouri license holders will need an alternative identification to fly in the U.S. and access federal facilities, the site says.

Which brings us to California, which is painted yellow on the site and has a lot of company, including Oregon, Idaho and Texas. When you click on California, it tells you that our state has an extension and that Californians can continue to use your license to fly in the U.S. and access federal facilities and nuclear power plants. But the Oct. 1, 2020, (third) deadline? Unclear at this point whether California licenses will be OK.

I asked the California Department of Motor Vehicles for an update on where we are. Here is the official statement that was sent:

The DMV strongly supports the goal of ensuring there is one license, one record and one identity for each Californian. We will continue to implement practices to comply with the intent of the law while ensuring privacy protections and minimizing impacts to the over 30 million Californians who already have a driver license or identification card. Uh huh. That s helpful. On the other hand, given some of the uncertainty about implementation under a new set of administrators, the state can t say for sure because it doesn t know what s going to happen. What is certain: Californians are fine for now. We may be fine by the 2020 deadline . We don t know yet and probably won’t be for a while.

I believe in built-in redundancies, as anyone knows who has asked me for a pen and is offered one of a dozen from my purse. I now carry my Global Entry card when I travel. It is among the acceptable forms of ID for airport checkpoints.(You can see the list at www.lat.ms/acceptableid.) And by 2020, it just may be the key to boarding a plane. Have a travel dilemma? Write to travel@latimes.com. We regret we cannot answer every inquiry.

travel@latimes.com

@latimestravel

References

  1. ^ Transportation Security Administration (www.latimes.com)
  2. ^ TSA s website (lat.ms)
  3. ^ Department of Homeland Security map (www.lat.ms)

Family of man involved in airport security breach wants answers surrounding his death

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A member of the family of the man who illegally entered onto an airport tarmac and later died Saturday spoke to KHON2 Sunday. Officials say the unarmed man forced his way through at the Island Air commuter terminal at the Honolulu International Airport early Saturday morning. The state Department of Transportation says the suspect was combative, but after security was able to restrain him, the suspect became unresponsive and later died at the hospital. The suspect s family confirms it was 48-year-old Charles Kosi.

In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Kosi s younger brother Ryan Tuzon, who lives on Maui with the rest of the family. Tuzon says he and his family are frustrated because they have not been given many details on what happened Saturday morning and how Kosi died.

I m not blaming anybody for this, Tuzon said. I know my brother was wrong for what he did, going through security and stuff, but our family has more questions than answers, you know? While the cause of death has not been released by the Honolulu Medical Examiner yet an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday Charles Kosi s family is trying to piece together information.

Tuzon says his brother suffered from a heart condition and had heart surgery in the past. During the struggle on the tarmac Saturday morning, he wonders if Kosi say he can t breathe? Did he say he had heart problems? We just want to know what the police did.

I m not saying they did a bad job. I m not saying they did a good job. We just want answers and answers is the one thing we are not getting. Tuzon says his brother has been in and out of prison and had a drug problem. We looked at Kosi s criminal record which showed he had 35 charges between 1989 to 2003, including some felonies on assault and escape.

Before Saturday s incident at the airport, Tuzon says his brother was supposed to be at a drug rehabilitation facility on Oahu. He left, he said. He s not supposed to leave. We want to know how he left. Tuzon says his brother lived a hard life growing up on Maui, but Charles Kosi loved his family. He was trying to return home to his family. Kosi s mother and sister have flown to Oahu from Maui to get more answers. We ll have more on this developing story in the days ahead.

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Family of man involved in airport security breach wants answers …

Related Coverage

A member of the family of the man who illegally entered onto an airport tarmac and later died Saturday spoke to KHON2 Sunday. Officials say the unarmed man forced his way through at the Island Air commuter terminal at the Honolulu International Airport early Saturday morning. The state Department of Transportation says the suspect was combative, but after security was able to restrain him, the suspect became unresponsive and later died at the hospital. The suspect s family confirms it was 48-year-old Charles Kosi.

In an exclusive interview, we spoke to Kosi s younger brother Ryan Tuzon, who lives on Maui with the rest of the family. Tuzon says he and his family are frustrated because they have not been given many details on what happened Saturday morning and how Kosi died.

I m not blaming anybody for this, Tuzon said. I know my brother was wrong for what he did, going through security and stuff, but our family has more questions than answers, you know? While the cause of death has not been released by the Honolulu Medical Examiner yet an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday Charles Kosi s family is trying to piece together information.

Tuzon says his brother suffered from a heart condition and had heart surgery in the past. During the struggle on the tarmac Saturday morning, he wonders if Kosi say he can t breathe? Did he say he had heart problems? We just want to know what the police did.

I m not saying they did a bad job. I m not saying they did a good job. We just want answers and answers is the one thing we are not getting. Tuzon says his brother has been in and out of prison and had a drug problem. We looked at Kosi s criminal record which showed he had 35 charges between 1989 to 2003, including some felonies on assault and escape.

Before Saturday s incident at the airport, Tuzon says his brother was supposed to be at a drug rehabilitation facility on Oahu. He left, he said. He s not supposed to leave. We want to know how he left. Tuzon says his brother lived a hard life growing up on Maui, but Charles Kosi loved his family. He was trying to return home to his family. Kosi s mother and sister have flown to Oahu from Maui to get more answers. We ll have more on this developing story in the days ahead.

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