DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the DHS is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, due to operating at limited capacity.
Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.
Many state licensing agencies have extended the deadline for renewing expiring licenses due to a widespread shift to appointment-only scheduling. As a result, only 43 percent of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant. More time will be needed for full compliance to occur, hence the extension of enforcement deadline.