WASHINGTON (WJW) – The Department of Homeland Security is extending the deadline for travelers 18 and older to carry enhanced identification when boarding domestic flights.

Travelers now have until May 3, 2023 to secure their 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, according to a release from the Department of Homeland Security.  

“The (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity. DHS will publish an interim final rule in the coming days to effectuate this enforcement date change,” the release states.

Although all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and four of five U.S. territories are currently issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, many state licensing agencies have needed to extended the deadline after a shift to appointment-only scheduling during the pandemic slowed down the process. 

Now only 43 percent of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant.

DHS continues to work closely with all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to implement REAL ID Act requirements. For more information on REAL ID, click here.