Deadline For Real ID Pushed Back Again, This Time Because Of The Pandemic

By Bill Galluccio

April 27, 2021

The Department of Homeland Security is pushing back a requirement that everybody who boards an airplane must have a Real ID. The requirement was passed in 2005 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks but has yet to be enforced.

Real ID licenses require states to check for proof of identity and address. To get the license, you must show paperwork, which may include your Social Security card, tax forms, a pay stub, or bank statements. The licenses feature a star in the upper right-hand corner.

Over the past 15 years, DHS has delayed implementation of the law because states were struggling to create a system to provide people with the identification cards.

While all 50 states offer Real ID licenses as of 2020, a large number of Americans do not have the new licenses. DHS said that as of April 8, 118 million of the 274 million driver’s licenses and IDs issued across the country are Real ID-compliant.

Last year, the date was pushed back because the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible for people to go to the DMV to get a new license. Now, officials are moving the date again because the pandemic has continued to leave many DMV offices closed or operating with reduced hours, creating a backlog of applicants.

“The national adoption rate is increasing approximately .5% a month today, as compared to over 1% a month prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” DHS said in a statement.

DHS has not set a new date for when the law will be enforced at airports across the country.

Photo: Getty Images

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