Louisiana travelers temporarily dodged a bullet last week when the Department of Homeland Security granted a temporary deferment on the REAL ID law, which is scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 15. The law, signed by President George Bush in 2005, requires federal identification requirements be met on state-issued drivers' licenses.
Had the deferment not been issued, Louisianans would have been required to have a passport to travel by air. The deferment, issued to all states not in compliance, is for at least six months. In the fall of 2013, DHS will announce a schedule for phased-in enforcement.