Redesigned Nevada driver’s licenses could lead to delays at the state’s airports when passengers present them for identification. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents may have to inspect them manually, instead of the license’s barcode getting scanned.
“The barcode on the back changed slightly and the TSA’s CAT [credential authentication technology] system has not been updated for it yet,” Kevin Malone, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), confirmed to Casino.org.
If the TSA’s scanners are unable to read the license, the TSA officer will do a manual inspection of the license,” Malone added.
Even with the glitch, Nevadans will be able to board a plane. But they will need a valid government-issued ID at the security checkpoint, Malone said.
The state’s new driver’s licenses have enhanced security features and an updated design. The new license either meet or exceed national security standards.
They follow the latest security standards set by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Malone adds. The standards were updated just last year, Malone said.
The rollout of the new Nevada licenses began July 12. Many state residents have yet to receive them.
Licenses that have the older design remain valid until they expire or information on the ID needs to be updated.
We rolled out the new license design in July and August so relatively few Nevadans have them yet. We cannot tell how many of those will be using their [new] licenses at airports,” Malone said.
Meanwhile, the Nevada DMV staff is working with TSA employees “to ensure the system is upgraded,” Malone said.
Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the TSA, agreed with Malone and told Casino.org “a TSA officer can do a manual inspection of a traveler’s government-issued photo ID if for some reason the equipment does not recognize the ID.
“Nevadans with a valid government-issued photo ID will be screened through the security checkpoint and be allowed to travel despite any suggestions to the contrary,” Dankers said.
Allow Extra Time
Still, the Nevada DMV has stated, “Allow yourself extra time to complete airport security screening.”
Other unrelated issues recently have caused traveler delays at airports. Lyft and Uber drivers were slow to pick up passengers at such airports as McCarran International in April.
The delays were blamed on the shortage of ride-sharing service drivers. The companies were adjusting payments to encourage more drivers to return to work.
Number of Casino Visitors Increases
Delays come as the number of tourists heading to Nevada casinos and hotels has increased since the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The number of passengers using McCarran International Airport exceeded 4 million in July. This figure is near pre-pandemic levels, but the number of international travelers remains well below 2019 totals.
Also, casino-bound vehicles are facing delays on and near the Las Vegas Strip because of ongoing construction to improve the roadway.
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