DHS Extends Deadline to Obtain a REAL ID for Domestic Travel

A customer opens the door of a Washington state Dept. of Licensing office in Lacey, Wash., Friday, June 22, 2018 next to a sign providing information about the requirements of Real ID. Some Washington licenses and identification cards will soon be marked with the words "federal limits apply" as the …
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Tuesday the deadline to obtain a REAL ID for U.S. citizens flying domestically would be extended until 2023, citing coronavirus concerns.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced the department is extending the enforcement of mandating REAL ID from October to May 3, 2023.

DHS said, “The pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity.”

Therefore, the Department will give an additional 19 months for all states to comply. The press release stated:

May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need 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.

Mayorkas explained his reasoning for the decision:

Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority. …As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.

The press release also noted, as a result of the pandemic “only 43 percent of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant.”

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in order to enact the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation for the Federal Government need to “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses,” according to the DHS website.

Breitbart News reported last September, 19 years after Al Qaeda jihadis used fake drivers’ licenses to murder 3,000 Americans in the 9/11 atrocity, DHS “announced all 50 states are now in full compliance issuing these cards, with most states becoming compliant in the last four years,” adding, at the time, DMVs issued more than 105 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, representing 38 percent of all driver’s licenses and identification cardholders.

The Department’s original intent was to have to fully enforce the REAL ID federally for domestic air travel on October 1, 2021.

REAL IDs have a gold star in the top right corner. The type of ID is an enhanced driver’s license that will provide proof of identity and U.S. citizenship, which is a secure process and includes technology meant to make travel easier, according to DHS.

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