BOSTON (CBS/CNN) – The Department of Homeland Security announced that President Donald Trump ordered the deadline for the upcoming Real ID program extended by a year due to coronavirus.
Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the US, states were preparing to issue residents “REAL ID-compliant” driver’s licenses or identification by the October 1 deadline.
As of last month, only about 35% of US IDs complied with the Real ID Act, a post-9/11 law that establishes security standards for licenses. Once in effect, travelers flying commercially in the US will need to have a Real ID, which is marked by a star on the top of the card.
Even before the outbreak, it was unlikely that all states would meet the deadline. Last month, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told lawmakers that the prospect of all states being able to issue their constituents a Real ID by October 2020 was “probably fairly small.”
“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” said Wolf. “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.”
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