The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that the deadline for the full enforcement of REAL ID will be extended by 24 months, from 3 May 2023 to 7 May 2025.
According to the DHS, under the new regulations, states will have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act.
As required by law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.
“DHS continues to work closely with US states, the District of Columbia and the US territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “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.”
The DHS says that the extension is necessary, in part, to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card; progress over the past two years has been significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic.