RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Department of Homeland Security announced today there will be a second two-year extension on full enforcement of REAL IDs.
Originally set for 2021, the most recent extension deadline of May 3, 2023, will now be extended to May 7, 2025, giving residents additional time to make sure their driver’s licenses and identification cards meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. This makes the second delay in the requirement for REAL IDs.
After the deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration, will no longer be able to accept licenses and IDs that do not meet the new federal standards. REAL IDs are identifiable by the gold star in the upper right-hand corner.
Those without a REAL ID wishing to travel via airline after the deadline will need another form like a valid passport or U.S. military ID. TSA lists other forms of ID that can also be used to board a plane.
“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a release. “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. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”
The DHS said the extension was granted as a result of the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Progress toward obtaining a REAL ID, for many citizens, has been hindered by backlogs created by the pandemic.