Louisiana, like many other states, has yet to comply with the requirements of the REAL ID Act, but thanks to a decision announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, residents won't be required to have a passport to board an airplane as soon as originally expected.

According to the release, only 13 states have met the requirements of the REAL ID Act. Louisiana is not among those states, but thanks to the deferment announced Thursday, residents will not have to begin showing passports to board plans just yet. For states like Louisiana, Thursday’s press release notes:

Beginning January 15, 2013, those states not found to meet the standards will receive a temporary deferment that will allow Federal agencies to continue to accept their licenses and identification cards for boarding commercial aircraft and other official purposes.

In the coming weeks and months, DHS will, in consultation with states and stakeholders, develop a schedule for the phased enforcement of the Act's statutory prohibitions to ensure that residents of all states are treated in a fair manner. DHS expects to publish a schedule by early fall 2013 and begin implementation at a suitable date thereafter. Until the schedule is implemented, Federal agencies may continue to accept for official purposes drivers licenses and identity cards issued by all states.

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