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U.S. again delays deadline for Real IDs, until May 2025


Homeland Security sign for REAL ID at entrance to passenger TSA security area, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Lindsey Nicholson | UCG | Universal Images Group | Getty Images

U.S. officials are delaying for 2 more years the enforcement of a rule requiring people to get recent identification cards to board domestic flights, access federal facilities or enter nuclear plants.

The Department of Homeland Security said Monday the Real ID Act is not going to be enforced until May 2025, marking the most recent postponement for the rule. The rule had most recently been slated to enter effect in May 2023.

The agency cited “the lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic,” as partially answerable for the continued delay. It noted that the pandemic made it tougher for people to acquire licenses or identification cards which can be Real ID-compliant.

The Real ID Act, passed in 2005 within the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, enhanced the safety standards crucial for driver’s licenses and other identification cards to be accepted for certain activities, reminiscent of boarding planes. Real IDs might be identified by a star within the right-hand corner of a driver’s license or identification card.

“This extension will give states needed time to make sure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS may also use this time to implement innovations to make the method more efficient and accessible,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a press release.

Enforcement of the Real ID rule has been repeatedly delayed because the original 2008 deadline. It was slated to enter effect in October 2020, but then the deadline was pushed back to October 2021 after states pressured the federal government for an extension resulting from Covid pandemic obstacles. That deadline never kicked in to gear either, and officials again pushed back enforcement until May 2023.

On Monday, DHS updated its countdown to the brand new date on its website.

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