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DHS Announces Extension of REAL ID Full Enforcement Deadline


Secretary Mayorkas on Tuesday announced that the full enforcement date for REAL ID will be extended once again from Oct. 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayorkas said that the pandemic “has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity.”

AAAE President and CEO Todd Hauptli in March wrote to Mayorkas requesting a further extension of the REAL ID enforcement deadline until there is a significantly higher saturation of REAL ID-compliant licenses and identification cards. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee, on which AAAE serves, also recommended on that DHS extend the REAL ID deadline.

DHS soon will publish an interim final rule to officially implement the REAL ID enforcement date change. DHS is also working on regulations to implement the provisions of the REAL ID Modernization Act that will allow the electronic submission of certain documents and streamline the process for REAL ID issuance.