You will have more time to get new identification for future trips or to do business in federal facilities.  

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has again pushed back the deadline for getting the Real ID driver’s licenses.  

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The DHS cites the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including backlogs at Departments of Motor Vehicles offices, for its announcement Monday, December 7 that the new deadline is May 7, 2025 instead of this coming May.

The Secretary for Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas commented in a news release: “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card,"  "DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)
Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)
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Most people are able to get their special identification papers that allow for international and domestic travel and access to federal facilities like the offices in the U.S. "Federal Building: on Henry Street, Binghamton when they renew their driver's licenses.

The Department of Homeland Security notes the backlogs at state driver's license offices that occurred when those office reopened following the pandemic shutdown in spring, 2020, still hasn't cleared.

The Associated Press reports that, because of the backlogs, many state agencies that issue driver's licenses automatically extended expiration dates on licenses and ID cards, rather than issuing licenses and cards compliant with the Real ID requirement.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)
Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)
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With the latest extension of the deadline to May 2025 deadline, domestic travelers 18 and older on commercial flights must have a Real ID-compliant driver's license or state photo ID identification card. Real ID also will be required to enter some federal facilities such as military bases.

According to the AP report, the Real ID law was passed by Congress in 2005 on a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission. The new form of ID incorporates anti-counterfeiting technology and uses documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be.

Most recently, in April 2021, the DHS moved the deadline to May, 2023.  The COVID-19 pandemic was again cited as the reasoning.

AP reports that DHS spokeswoman said on December 6 that about 52% of state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards were considered Real ID-compliant. That's up from 43% in April 2021.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and four of the five U.S. territories covered by the Real ID Act are issuing Real ID-compliant driver's licenses and ID cards. DHS said American Samoa is under review for Real ID enforcement.

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