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DHS will extend REAL ID full enforcement deadline by 19 months, pushing it into 2023

According to a DHS press release, "only 43 percent of all state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant."

Updated: April 27, 2021 - 4:33pm

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The Department of Homeland Security is pushing back the REAL ID full enforcement deadline by more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 19-month extension of the prior October 1, 2021 enforcement date means that now, starting on May 3, 2023, all adults must have "a 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 DHS press release

The press release noted that "many state licensing agencies have extended the deadline for renewing expiring licenses due to a widespread shift to appointment-only scheduling protocols during the pandemic that has significantly limited states' capacity to issue REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards. As a result, only 43 percent of all state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant. DHS and various states also need time to implement requirements mandated by the REAL ID Modernization Act, including changes that will streamline processing by allowing the electronic submission of certain documents."

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