You Can Keep Procrastinating on That Real ID

Until May 2025
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2022 3:00 AM CST
Real ID Deadline Pushed Back Yet Again
In this June 30, 2011 file photo, a customer walks into a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Redwood City, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Enforcement of the Real ID law has been pushed back yet again. The Department of Homeland Security last year issued the latest in a series of delays of the deadline due to the COVID-19 pandemic; enforcement was supposed to begin in May of next year. Instead, the department announced Monday, it will again delay enforcement, this time to May 7, 2025, USA Today reports. Once again, the pandemic is to blame, DHS says in a statement, noting that many driver's licensing agencies offered things like automatic driver's license and identification card expiration date extensions amid the pandemic. In order to come into compliance with the law, Americans need to replace their license or ID card with a Real ID-compliant version, which can't be done automatically, NPR reports.

"REAL ID 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," the statement says. As the Washington Post reports, the 2025 date will be 17 years after the Real ID Act, which set minimum security standards for driver's licenses and ID cards following the September 11 terrorist attacks, was first supposed to be implemented. Currently, about 49% of Americans have licenses or cards that are compliant with the law. Those who don't will, eventually, need one to board an airplane and enter certain federal facilities, though passports, passport cards, and other federally-issued identification documents such as military IDs can be used in place of a Real ID. (Read more Real ID stories.)

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