No, this doesn’t sound at all crazy.
A helpful reminder from the website AntiMedia advises that, in compliance with the 2005 Real ID Act, residents of five states — Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Wisconsin — will need a passport to fly domestically beginning in 2016.
The website of Department of Homeland Security explains somewhat convolutedly in a sidebar that these fives states, along with American Somoa, are “noncompliant jurisdictions.” As such, these localities are required “to follow alternative access control procedures for purposes covered by the Act,” meaning that to board an aircraft, you need a passport.
AntiMedia reached out to both the DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for clarification on why these five states were singled out but reports that both declined comment.
To put this in perspective, let’s take a hypothetical traveler from Louisiana who is 78 and has difficulty getting around (call him Mr. Jones). Let’s suppose further that Mr. Jones wants to fly to South Carolina to visit relatives. The government has no compunction about requiring him first to make a trip to a federal facility that accepts passport applications and — to add insult to injury — cough up the $110 processing fee to obtain a U.S. passport.
But these same government types, at least on the Democratic side, object strenuously to the law in Louisiana that requires Mr. Jones to have a photo ID to vote, which the state is more than happy to provide at no charge.