You have an extra year to get your REAL ID-compliant driver’s license

“Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayerkas, announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing pandemic .

The pandemic has significantly affected states’ ability to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards, with many driver licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity. Will publish an interim final rule in the coming days for the change to take effect.

Do you remember exactly what you were doing when you first heard about the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001? It’s one of those terrifying “when were you” moments that will stay in your mind for the rest of the time.

Since that fateful day, the US government has been ramping up airport security and finding new ways to keep everyone safe. If you’ve traveled by plane in the past decade, you know how long those security lines can be. Tap or click for pro tips on how to get through security faster.

Well, another new security feature is being implemented. If you don’t comply, you won’t be able to step on the plane. The good news is that you have some time to take action.

Here’s the backstory

Have you ever heard of REAL ID? You should have been, it’s been working for years.

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 implementing the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. It aims to set standards for issuance of sources of identification such as driving licences.

In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security announced a phased enforcement plan for the REAL ID Act.

Now, here’s what you’d like to pay attention to. If you do not have a real ID by May 3, 2023, you will not be able to board the plane. Not only this, you can be affected in other areas as well. You’ll need a real ID to access federal buildings, enter nuclear power plants, and board an airplane.

What to do if you do not have a real ID?

This is where things get serious. It is estimated that less than 50% of Americans have a Real ID. This means millions of people will need to get one before it can be implemented.

Worse, some don’t even know the deadline is coming. Can you imagine the chaos we might see on the deadline? Many people trying to catch a flight can be turned away by airport security.

Speaking of chaos, think about how jam-packed your local DMV will be as we get closer to the deadline. Once people realize they need a REAL ID, they’ll be scrambling to get one.

So it’s a good idea to start the process now if you haven’t already. To find out how to get one in your state, visit the Homeland Security Real ID page.

Note: When you go to the DMV to get a REAL ID, you’ll need a valid form of identification: a passport or birth certificate, proof of your Social Security number and date of birth, and your home address. /Two items proving state residence. Typically, utility bills or other snail mail items will serve to prove your address.

Do you know if you have a real ID? A compliant REAL ID has an asterisk on the top of the card. If you don’t see the star, you don’t have a real ID.

There is some good news though. You can still fly through airport security if you have a passport, military ID or Global Entry card. But in the end, you’ll want to get a real ID – even if you have a passport. It is better to do it now until it is too late.

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