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DHS Extends REAL ID Full Enforcement Deadline to May 7, 2025

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.

FAQs

What is REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants
Is a Driver's Privilege Card Real ID compliant?

No

Can I board a plane with a Temporary License/ID?

TSA will NOT accept a Temporary License/ID as a standalone document. It will accept the expiring or expired card with the Temporary License/ID as proof of the renewal. Customers should visit TSA’s website which contains detailed information on the identity documents they will accept: tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Is an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Non-Driver ID (EID) acceptable for Real ID compliance?

Yes, the Vermont EDL & EID are designated as acceptable border-crossing documents by DHS under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Vermont EDL & EID are acceptable for official Federal purposes (i.e., boarding a commercial aircraft, accessing a federal facility, or entering a nuclear power plant).

If I have temporary lawful status in the United States, will the Driver's License or ID card issued to me be different?

Your card will read “limited term” and the expiration date will coincide with the expiration of valid legal status obtained from documentation provided. If your lawful stay has no defined end or expiration date, you will have the option of choosing a 2 or 4 year card.

Does a Driver's License or ID card marked “limited term” have different or lesser privileges?

No. The Driver's License or ID card remains fully valid for all purposes normally associated with a Driver's License or ID card in the form issued.

A Driver's License or ID card marked “limited term” merely signifies that it is issued to a person who is a foreign national with temporary lawful status in the United States and has a shorter term than a regular Driver's License or ID card.

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