WASHINGTON (KION) The Secretary of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security will be extending the REAL ID full enforcement date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deadline was first extended to Oct. 1, 2021, but it is now extended another 19 months until May 3, 2023. The agency said it extended the deadline because the pandemic impacted the ability to issue the driver's licenses and IDs, and many locations are still operating at limited capacity.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “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 ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.”
Starting on May 3, 2023, REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses or IDs, state-issued enhanced driver's licenses or other TSA-acceptable identification will be required at airport security checkpoints for air travelers aged 18 and older.
The DHS says only 43% of all state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards are currently REAL ID-compliant.