The government has extended the deadline for when federal agencies like the TSA will start requiring real ID cards, moving the date from May 3, 2023 to May 7, 2025. This gives people an extra two years to get an updated driver’s license or ID card ; after the deadline they are not allowed to fly without it.
The extension is intended to “address the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identity card,” it said. a Monday press release of the Department of Homeland Security. The standard was implemented after 9/11 in an effort to improve flight safety, so getting one of the cards will require you to provide various documentation. That includes proof of your legal name, date of birth, social security number, home address, and immigration status.
This is far from the first Real ID delay. When the law mandating them was passed in 2005, it specified that federal agencies would have to stop accepting non-compliant IDs within three years, putting the cut-off date at the beginning of 2008. In retrospect, that was a somewhat optimistic timeline, as the change requires working with dozens of state and territorial governments to review the way their RDWs issue IDs and driver’s licenses, especially as some state officials staunchly opposed the change. Not to mention the difficulty of getting anyone over the age of 18 to upgrade their existing IDs.
Many of the previous delays were due to states simply not being ready – some did not start issuing real IDs until 2020. Now all but one U.S. territory is compliant, largely shifting responsibility from governments to citizens.