March 26, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 26 released a statement extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the United States.

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020, deadline,” said DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf.

“I have determined that states require a 12-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021,” Wolf added. “DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days.”

View the full Department of Homeland Security statement.

The REAL ID requirement establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting minimum standards. For most citizens, REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses will be needed to access commercial airline flights and other federally regulated commercial aircraft.