‘Real ID’ deadline pushed back to May 2023 amid pandemic

The deadline had been Oct. 1, 2021, but it was becoming clear that many people wouldn’t make it, in part because the COVID-19 outbreak has made it harder for states to issue new licenses.

SHARE ‘Real ID’ deadline pushed back to May 2023 amid pandemic
Sample copy of a Washington drivers license is shown at the Washington state Dept. of Licensing office in Lacey, Wash.

In this June 22, 2018, file photo a sample copy of a Washington drivers license is shown at the Washington state Dept. of Licensing office in Lacey, Wash. Americans will have more time because of the pandemic to get the Real ID that they will need to board a flight or enter federal facilities. The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, extended the Real ID deadline until May 3, 2023.

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File

WASHINGTON — Americans will have more time to get the Real ID that they will need to board a flight or enter federal facilities.

The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday extended the Real ID deadline until May 3, 2023. The deadline had been Oct. 1, 2021, but it was becoming clear that many people wouldn’t make it, in part because the COVID-19 outbreak has made it harder for states to issue new licenses.

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission.

The updated cards will be required for airport check-in and to enter federal facilities.

People are getting compliant IDs as they renew, but it takes time and the process has been slowed by the pandemic, with many state agencies operating at limited capacity.

DHS says only 43% of all driver’s licenses and identification cards are compliant.

Older IDs will be suitable to allow people to drive, buy liquor or other age-regulated products, and gamble at casinos. Travelers also can use military IDs or passports to access flights and federal facilities.

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