WASHINGTON (WJW)– The Department of Homeland Security is extending the deadline for REAL ID enforcement from Oct. 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.
The department said the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected states’ ability to issue the new compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, prompting the 19-month delay.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, in a news release on Tuesday.
“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.”
Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age 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.