Ever since the 9/11 terrorist attack 18 years ago, the U.S. government has imposed more restrictions on flying in an effort to avoid a repeat of that mass slaughter.

One change that’s, excuse the pun, flying under the radar is a new ID requirement. Effective in just under a year, airline travelers will not be allowed to board planes unless they can produce a valid passport or a special driver’s license that Mississippi just started issuing last year. These so-called REAL ID-compliant licenses require applicants to prove their identity, Social Security number and address. You can tell if you have one by looking for a star in the upper-righthand corner of the license. No star, no luck.

These new licenses can only be issued in person at driver’s license offices. Given the logjam that Mississippi has had recently with getting licenses renewed at Highway Patrol stations, look for the waiting times to probably get longer.

Most people are getting the new IDs when their licenses come up for renewal every four years. But those who received their latest license before the new ones became available may have to renew early if they plan to fly.

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