The Department of Homeland Security announced it will push back full enforcement of the REAL ID until May 7, 2025, to allow additional time for residents to have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards.
The deadline was pushed from the original May 3, 2023 enforcement deadline for federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, to driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. According to DHA, the extension is “ necessary, in part to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card”.
“This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
The REAL ID is marked by a star on the top of the card. Passports and other forms of approved identification will still be accepted, according to DHS.
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, following a 9/11 comission recommendation, to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Security standards include incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be.
Under the new regulations, every traveler 18 years 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 at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.
The REAL ID will also be used to access certain federal facilities and nuclear power plants.
How to get a REAL ID?
DHS recommends people visit their state’s driver’s licensing agency website to find out exactly what documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID.
At a minimum, you must provide documentation showing:
1) Full Legal Name
2) Date of Birth
3) Social Security Number
4) Two Proofs of Address of Principal Residence
5) Lawful Status.
For more information on REAL ID, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id. Residents in California may visit the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a REAL ID.