National Security sign for REAL ID at the entrance to the TSA Passenger Security Area, West Palm Beach, Florida.
Lindsey Nicholson | UKG | Universal group of images | Getty Images
US officials are delaying for another two years the enactment of a rule requiring people to obtain new identities to board domestic flights, access federal facilities or enter nuclear plants.
The Department of Homeland Security said on Monday that the Real ID Act will not apply until May 2025, marking the final postponement of the rule. The last rule was scheduled to come into force in May 2023.
The agency cited the “lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic” as part of the reason for the ongoing delay. He noted that the pandemic has made it more difficult for people to obtain licenses or ID cards that meet the requirements of Real ID.
The Real Identity Act, passed in 2005 in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, increased the security standards required to accept driver’s licenses and other identification for certain activities, such as boarding an aircraft. Real ID cards can be identified by the asterisk in the right corner of the driver’s license or ID card.
“This extension will give states the necessary time for their residents to obtain a Real ID license or ID. DHS is also using this time to innovate to make the process more efficient and accessible,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mallorcas said in a press release.
The implementation of the Real ID rule has been repeatedly delayed since the original deadline in 2008. It was supposed to go into effect in October 2020, but then the deadline was pushed back to October 2021 after states requested an extension from the federal government due to Covid pandemic-related impediments. This deadline also did not come, and officials again delayed the execution until May 2023.
On Monday, DHS updated its countdown for the new date on your website.