The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the REAL ID full enforcement deadline by 24 months, from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025. In a press release announcing the change, DHS cites that states will now have additional time to ensure applicants have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. DHS also cites the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license as justification for the extension.
DHS cites that, as the law requires, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet federal standards. Beginning May 7, 2025, every 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.