Real ID Application Deadline Extended to May 2025
The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that the actual identification deadline would be extended an additional two years, delaying implementation until May 7, 2025. The law was previously scheduled to go into effect on May 3.
“The extension is necessary, in part, to address the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or ID card. REAL ID’s progress over the past two years have been significantly hampered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic,” a DHS statement read. “Many of these agencies have taken a variety of actions in response to the pandemic, including automatically extending the expiration dates of driver’s licenses and ID cards and moving operations to appointments only.”
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The Real Identity Act was passed by Congress in 2005 and is intended to establish minimum security standards for state-issued forms of identification, such as driver’s licenses. Once the law comes into force, travelers will have to present a valid identity document to be able to board a plane.
What is the real ID?
Real ID is a set of federal standards for state-issued identification documents.
“Security standards include the integration of anti-counterfeiting technology, the prevention of insider fraud, and the use of documentary evidence and record checks to ensure that a person is who they say they are. be,” DHS said in a statement. “Under the new regulations, starting May 7, 2025, every traveler aged 18 or over will need a driver’s license or REAL ID-compliant ID card, driver’s license enhanced state-issued or other form of identification acceptable to the TSA at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.”
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How do I know if I have a Real ID?
Real ID-compliant documents are usually marked with a gold or black star, or a gold or black circle with a star outline in the center of the top of the card. California uses a gold bear with a star cutout.
According to DHS, as of March 26, 2021, 55 states and territories issue Real ID-compliant documentation for new and renewing applicants.
Can I travel without Real ID?
For now yes. Until Real ID enforcement begins on May 7, 2025, older, non-compliant documents will still be accepted at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints. After the deadline, you’ll need real ID to travel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to get a new driver’s license. Passports and other federally issued identification will be accepted.