Deadline to get REAL ID extended

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REAL ID compliant driver's licenses look just like a regular license but have a star on the upper right. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy Virginia DMV)
REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses look just like a regular license but have a star on the upper right. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy Virginia DMV)

NATIONWIDE — The coronavirus pandemic has stopped normalcy in its tracks, making routine errands turn into risky business.

For those who have put off scheduling an appointment at their nearest Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office for a REAL ID can breathe a sign of relief.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the deadline for enforcing REAL ID would be extended to May 3, 2023.

The deadline was previously Oct. 1, 2021.

RELATED STORY: Have you switched to the new Real ID? You might want to do that soon

“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Alejandro N. Mayorkas, DHS secretary. “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 decision stems from driver’s licensing agencies that issue REAL IDs are currently operating at limited capacity.

“As a result, only 43 percent of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant,” the DHS stated.

The REAL ID Act applies to all 50 U.S. states. The DHS stated that it will publish more guidelines regarding REAL IDs at a later date.

Starting on May 3, 2023, all persons 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card in order to fly domestically, according to the DHS.

Other acceptable forms of identification include a state-issued enhanced driver’s license or other identification approved by the TSA.

For more information on REAL ID, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

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