By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The date by which air travelers will need a Real ID or passport to fly in the United States has been pushed back again due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that the Real ID enforcement date has been delayed 19 months from Oct. 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.

DHS said the pandemic has hindered states’ ability to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

READ MORE: Pfizer Says Its Booster Vaccine Shot 95.6% Effective Against COVID-19

“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas in a statement. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.”

READ MORE: Onions Linked To Salmonella Outbreak In 37 States, Including Massachusetts, CDC Says

Every air traveler over the age of 18 will need Real ID-compliant identification to fly domestically by the new deadline of May 3, 2023.

MORE NEWS: As Pediatricians Prepare To Give COVID Vaccine To Kids 5-To-11, Some Doctors Say Review The Data First

To get the Real ID driver’s license people need to prove their U.S. citizenship and state residency to the RMV. Click here for more information on how to get one in Massachusetts.

CBSBoston.com Staff