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The Department of Homeland Security announced that it is delaying the date for Real ID for Americans traveling through airports due to the pandemic.
Travelers would have needed Real ID-compliant identification by October 1, but, because it was so difficult for many Americans to get to motor vehicle departments during the COVID-19 outbreak, that deadline has been pushed to May 3, 2023.
"Extending the Real ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver's licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card," Department of Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.
Under the REAL ID Act passed by Congress after September 11, travelers 18 or older boarding an airplane using a driver's license for identification need to have one that conforms with the law's stricter requirements.
This isn't the first time that the REAL ID deadline has been pushed back, but it is welcome news for the airline industry. The U.S. Travel Association, the National Governors Association and other groups called for an extension, and it seems that message was received.
The U.S. Travel Association praised the announcement.
"Extending the REAL ID deadline is the right move, and we're grateful to DHS for heeding the evidence and the calls from our industry," said executive vice president for public affairs and policy Tori Emerson Barnes. "Getting to REAL ID compliance on time was already going to be a challenge before COVID shut down DMVs for extended periods. Significant travel disruption was likely if the deadline were allowed to hit, which the U.S. economy can't afford after a $500 billion decline in travel spending last year and millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic."
Janeen Christoff caught the travel bug while living in London, England. After two years on the road, she settled in Los Angeles...
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