Real ID will not be mandatory anytime soon: deadline has been postponed again
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has again postponed the Real ID deadline, the latest pandemic-related expansion of a program aimed at establishing a uniform security standard for issuing driver's licenses and other identifying information. Writes about it CNN.
On Tuesday, April 27, DHS announced that it is extending the full effective date of Real ID by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.
After the law comes into effect, travelers aged 18 and over flying on commercial flights to the United States will be required to have a Real ID driver's license or other state photo ID, which must be marked with an asterisk at the top of the card. Passports and other forms of approved identity are still will be accepted.
The department attributed the latest delay to the limited capacity of state driver's license agencies that delayed renewals of expiring licenses.
All 50 US states, Washington DC, and several US territories meet Real ID security standards, but only 43% of US IDs are now compliant due to pandemic-era restrictions, DHS said.
However, a year ago this figure was about 35%.
DHS also said the agency needs time, along with various states, to meet requirements under the Real ID Modernization Act, such as electronic filing.
In March 2020, DHS extended the deadline for the annual federally approved identification program from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021. Now it is carried over again.
Even before the pandemic, it seemed unlikely that all states would meet the previous deadline. At the time, former DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf admitted to lawmakers that there is a "small" prospect that all states will be able to issue Real IDs to their voters by October 2020.
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DHS Secretary Alejando Mallorcas said on April 27 that the extension of the Real ID deadline "will give states the time they need to resume their driver's license operations and ensure that their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or ID card."
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