News outlets are reporting that United States citizens will now have an additional 19 months to make sure they have a REAL ID.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it would delay enforcement of the REAL ID until May 3, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday that the Oct. 1 deadline will be pushed back 19 months to May 3, 2023, due to COVID-19. By that date, every air traveler 18 and older will need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification to make it through airport security. This change will impact travelers flying domestically. If by 2023 you still do not have a Real ID, a valid U.S. passport can also be used for domestic flights.
DHS says the pandemic has impacted states’ ability to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the Real ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the Real ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card.”
This is the second COVID-related delay of the full enforcement of Real IDs. The Trump administration moved the original October 2020 deadline last year.”