‘Real ID’ Deadline for Air Travelers Now May, 2023, Due to COVID-19
Travelers in New Jersey and the rest of the country will have more time to get the Real ID that they will need to board a flight or enter federal facilities, two years from now.
The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday extended the Real ID deadline until May 3, 2023.
The deadline had been Oct. 1, 2021, but it was becoming clear that many people wouldn't make it, in part because the COVID-19 outbreak has made it harder for states to issue new licenses.
Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission.
The updated cards will be among a few valid points of identification required for airport check-in and to enter federal facilities, in addition to military IDs or passports.
People are getting compliant IDs as they renew, but it takes time and the process has been slowed by the pandemic, with many state agencies operating at limited capacity.
DHS says only 43% of all driver's licenses and identification cards are REAL-ID compliant.
Older IDs will be suitable to allow people to drive, buy liquor or other age-regulated products, and gamble at casinos.