April 28. According to a DHS news release quoted by Insider Travel Report, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the Real ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from Oct. 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 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. DHS will publish an interim final rule in the coming days.
Beginning 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.
“Extending the Real ID deadline is the right move, and we’re grateful to DHS for heeding the evidence and the calls from our industry,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, U.S. Travel Association’s executive vice president for public affairs and policy. “Getting to Real ID compliance on time was already going to be a challenge before COVID-19 shut down DMVs for extended periods. Significant travel disruption was likely if the deadline were allowed to hit, which the U.S. economy can’t afford after a $500 billion decline in travel spending last year and millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic.”
Source: Insider Travel Report