UPDATE: U.S. Delays REAL ID Deadline Due to COVID-19 Impact to October 1, 2021



  • The Department of Homeland Security is delaying the Real ID enforcement deadline another 12 months to Oct. 1, 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • All 50 states have an extension, which means passengers can continue to use their current driver’s licenses as usual for domestic travel.

The deadline for compliance with REAL ID requirements, which was set to begin on Oct. 1, has been delayed, President Donald Trump announced on Monday during a coronavirus (COVID-19) news briefing.

The new date will be announced “very soon,” he said.

“We’re postponing the deadline for compliance with REAL ID requirements. At a time where we’re asking American to maintain social distancing, we do not want to require people to go to their local DMV,” he added.

The deadline is for when the DHS and TSA will only accept REAL ID-compliant IDs and licenses at airport check-ins around the country. If a traveler did not have a REAL ID-compliant ID, they would be required to have a passport when flying domestically.

In a statement reacting to the news, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow applauded the decision.

“Extending the REAL ID deadline is clearly the wise course of action at this juncture,” he said. “We’ve asked DHS that the delay of the REAL ID enforcement deadline remain in place until the current economic environment improves and DHS can certify that access to air travel will not be negatively impacted after REAL ID enforcement begins.”

“To get this economy moving again, people need to be able to move again.”

The deadline delay isn’t the only change that DHS and TSA will be making during this time. Late last week, TSA said it would accept expired driver licenses during the COVID-19 National Emergency. Both the DHS and TSA also said that would back the delay of the REAL ID deadline because of the disruptions.

A study published last year by U.S. Travel found that millions of Americas, despite the fact that the REAL ID Act was originally passed in 2005, were still unprepared for the implementation of the act.

By: Daniel McCarthy

Source: TravelMarketReport