U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Public Affairs announced today
(Thursday, March 27) that the deadline for people to switch over to the REAL ID
has been extended one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
deadline for REAL ID enforcement was scheduled to begin Oct. 1, 2020. However, Chad
Wolf, acting director of Homeland Security, said in a statement that the deadline
has been pushed out to Oct. 1, 2021.
is the full text of Acting Secretary Wolf’s statement:
“Due to circumstances resulting
from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the
Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is
extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020
deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that
the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. DHS will publish a
notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days.
“The federal, state and
local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States
necessitates a delay in this deadline. Our state and local partners are working
tirelessly with the Administration to flatten the curve and, therefore, we want
to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts. States across the
country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs. This action will
preclude millions of people from applying for and receiving their REAL ID.
Extending the deadline will also allow the Department to work with Congress to
implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current
health crisis concludes.
“Protecting both the health and national security of the
American people continues to be the top priority for the President of the
United States and the Department of Homeland Security.”