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Tue May 4, 2021, 06:53 AM

Deadline for Real ID for air travel pushed back because of pandemic

NBC News

The Department of Homeland Security will delay the requirement for air travelers to have a Real ID-compliant form of identification, pushing it back 19 months, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday.

The deadline was supposed to be Oct. 1, but it's now being postponed until May 3, 2023. Similar delays in the past have been the result of a lack of full state compliance with the requirements for issuing the more secure driverís licenses. But this time, itís because of the pandemic, these officials say, which made it harder for people to get into state motor vehicle departments and get the new IDs.

"Extending the Real ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driverís licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card,Ē Mayorkas said.

Real ID compliant cards are issued after a more thorough check of an applicant's identification and incorporate new security features that make them harder to counterfeit. Under the Real ID Act, passed by Congress after the terrorist hijackings of Sept. 11, 2001, travelers 18 or older wanting to board an airplane by using a driver's license for identification must have one that conforms with the law's stricter requirements.

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