U.S. Department of Homeland Security delays REAL ID deadline by one year

Deadline for REAL ID extended

Last updated on December 5th, 2023 at 01:37 pm

States now have additional time to comply with federal rules

In response to the national emergency and pandemic of COVID-19, the U.S. government has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to October 1, 2021. This new deadline is 12 months later than the previous deadline of October 1, 2020. 

Why was the REAL ID deadline pushed back?

Many DMVs across the country are closed or restricted in compliance with efforts to curb the spread of Coronavirus. DMV inaccessibility prevents millions of Americans from applying for and receiving their new ID. The one-year extension offers the government operational efficiency and security as well. Dept. of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf states that “Extending the deadline will also allow the Department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current health crisis concludes.”

What is the REAL ID Act?

The REAL ID Act passed by Congress in 2005 established security standards for all driver’s licenses and identification cards required to:

  • Board federally regulated commercial aircraft 
  • Access Federal facilities
  • Enter nuclear power plants

The REAL ID Act will be enforced on October 1, 2021. As of this date, all federal agencies including TSA and DHS will only accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards for identification purposes if the license or card was issued by a REAL ID compliant state. All states will achieve full compliance by October 1, 2021.    

How do I know if an ID is REAL ID compliant?

This new ID contains one of the star symbols depicted below in the upper top portion of the card. If the card does not include one of these markings it is not considered REAL ID compliant and will not serve as proof of identity to board a commercial aircraft. 

REAL ID star examples

Verifying REAL IDs

Whether your business is scanning IDs to verify age, validating the legitimacy of an ID, or performing full ID authentication, it is important to be able to scan the IDs. 

IDScan.net continuously updates our ID library and adds new IDs as they are released, including REAL IDs from all states. As the October 1 2021 enforcement date approaches, IDScan.net’s software will be able to read the ID needed for use in both federal facilities and businesses across the U.S. Learn more about our solutions, or contact a member of our team at 888.430.8936.