DHS Extends REAL ID Deadline Once Again
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is once again extending the REAL ID full enforcement date. The deadline that was just a few months away, on May 3, 2023, has now been pushed back by more than two years. The new date is May 7, 2025.
DHS said that the pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.
Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act and implementing regulations establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibit federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes, such as getting through the airport security checkpoint to board a plane. Learn more about REAL ID enforcement.
Beginning May 7, 2025, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.
REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star at the top of the card. If you’re not sure, contact your state driver’s license agency on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant card. For information by state, including where to obtain a REAL ID, visit the DHS REAL ID website and click your state on the map.
Michigan, Vermont, Minnesota, and New York states issue REAL ID and state-issued enhanced driver’s licenses, both of which are acceptable. Washington state issues enhanced driver’s licenses only. State-issued enhanced driver’s licenses are marked with a flag. These documents will be accepted at the airport security checkpoint when the REAL ID enforcement goes into effect.