Deadline to get REAL ID extended to 2021

By on March 30, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Thursday that it will be extending the deadline to obtain a REAL ID, the federally mandated identification that will be needed for passengers to board aircraft, until October 1, 2021 — a full 12 months past the current deadline.

DHS is delaying the deadline to allow state and local authorities to focus on the coronavirus response.

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021,” Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said in a statement.

He continued, “The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline. Our state and local partners are working tirelessly with the Administration to flatten the curve and, therefore, we want to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts.”

According to DHS, states across the country have temporarily closed or restricted access to DMVs, keeping millions of people from applying for their new IDs.

The rollout of REAL IDs is the final phase of an act passed by Congress in 2005, in the wake of 9/11, which aimed to raise security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses.