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US Delays REAL ID Implementation Until 2025

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Monday it would delay the implementation of the REAL ID rules until May 2025.

According to, DHS officials previously announced the improved identification cards needed to board commercial planes or enter federal buildings would be required beginning on May 2, 2023, but the date has now been moved back by another two years, to May 7, 2025.


In 2005, congress passed legislation requiring Americans to get the new REAL ID cards, but it took years for departments to coordinate a plan, and previous enforcement start dates have all been pushed back.

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“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “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,” Mayorkas continued. “We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”

Whenever the REAL ID rules are enforced, every American traveler 18 years of age and older must provide a state-issued, enhanced driver’s license or identification card or another TSA-acceptable form of identification (e.g., a passport).

“Extending the REAL ID deadline is the right decision, and U.S. Travel appreciates DHS leadership for recognizing that with 100 million Americans still lacking a REAL ID, now is not the time to create significant travel disruptions. This delay helps to give travelers the time necessary to get the credential needed to fly domestically,” U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said in a statement.

“It remains critical that DHS identify ways to modernize identification standards to make the entire travel process more efficient. We will continue working with our partners in the travel industry and DHS to advance these solutions and get the traveling public fully prepared for the implementation of the REAL ID Act in 2025.”

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are now compliant with security standards and are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

It’s worth noting that the states are still permitted to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards that aren’t REAL ID documents, so it’s important to ensure that you specifically request a REAL ID from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

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