Nevada Casino-Bound Travelers Could Face Airport Delays From New Driver’s Licenses

Posted on: September 10, 2021, 08:38h. 

Last updated on: September 10, 2021, 01:02h.

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.

Even with the glitch, Nevadans will be able to board a plane
TSA agents screen passengers at McCarran International Airport. Delays are possible for passengers who present new Nevada driver’s licenses. (Image: KLAS)

“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

If the TSA’s scanners are unable to read the license, the TSA officer will do a manual inspection of the license,” Malone told

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 meets or exceeds 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.

Delays Possible

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.

“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,” Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the TSA told

“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.

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.

Casino Visitors Increase

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.