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REAL ID Deadline Extended Again! When You’ll Be Required To Have One & Is This Good News?

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REAL ID Deadline Extended

The REAL ID Act passed in 2005 establishes rules for U.S. states and territories when it comes to producing driver’s licenses and IDs. It was designed to somewhat standardize identification for access to airline flights and federal facilities. However it has had a strange history full of delays and new deadlines.

History of the REAL ID Act

When the REAL ID Act was passed in 2005, the requirements were supposed to be implemented by 2008. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and DHS delayed the implementation several times. One of the big reasons for the delays was the states. It wasn’t until 2018 that all states were compliant with the act, however other factors like Covid have also played a roll in the delays as well.

REAL ID Deadline Extended Again

With the obvious limitations of years of Covid, DHS had set a new deadline of May 3, 2023, however that is changing once again. According to DHS, “Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 7, 2025.” This means you won’t have to run out to the DMV to get your REAL ID for awhile.

How Will REAL ID Work?

As of May 7, 2025 (unless the deadline is extended again) adults 18 and over will be required to have a REAL ID or another acceptable form of ID in order to fly in the United States. Other acceptable forms of ID are: U.S. Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Global Entry card, Permanent Resident Card and more. Check out the full list here. 

Is This Good News?

It’s been a long haul on getting the REAL ID system implemented. First it was the states who were dragging their feet and now Covid has caused yet another delay in implementing this. While I would like to say there won’t be another extension, who knows. I guess the good news for most people is they have a bit more time to plan to get a REAL ID. I know where I live DMVs are still backed up from Covid and giving it more time is probably a good thing.

TSA has implemented tons of new technology in recent years which helps with security as well. You’ve probably noticed that in most airports you are no longer required to show a boarding pass and ID verification is no longer manual. In most places you hand a TSA officer your ID and a machine verifies it and that you have a ticket to fly. We’ve also seen new security scanning machines and processes that promise to improve the security experience in the future.

REAL ID Deadline Extended – Bottom Line

The REAL ID act has had more delays than I can count. The first date for implementation was 2008, however as of now you won’t be required to have a REAL ID until May 7, 2025 in order to fly in the United States. It’s been a long time coming and we’ll have to wait some more, however I’m sure the REAL ID requirement will go into effect in some point. Will it be 2025 or will the date get kicked down the road again?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. States dragging their feet, hm? How about states resisting an unfunded federal mandate? Maybe if the feds had provided the billions of dollars it is costing to issue several hundred million secure biometric drivers licenses it would have moved a little faster.

  2. What an embarrassment for a country that created and continues to create so many innovations but can’t manage this program.


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