COVID-19 Pandemic Prompts Extension of Real ID Enforcement Deadline

COVID-19 Pandemic Prompts Extension of Real ID Enforcement Deadline

March 27, 2020  | Romic Aevaz

On Thursday, March 26, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf announced a one-year extension of the Real ID enforcement deadline from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021. The extension was issued in the wake of temporary closures of many state DMVs amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing measures, preventing many Americans from applying for and receiving new compliant forms of identification. This action preempts a similar extension soon to be enacted by Congress as sec. 16006 of the COVID-19 response package passed by the Senate yesterday and up for a vote in the House as soon as today.

In response to recommendations issued by the 9/11 Commission in 2004 (see p. 390 here), Congress passed The Real ID Act in 2005 to establish a set of minimum security standards for all state-issued forms of identification. Individuals with non-compliant IDs will not be allowed to access Federal facilities, board commercial aircraft, or enter nuclear power plants. Originally set to take effect in mid-2008, the enforcement deadline has been extended several times amid slow adoption and pushback from states over privacy, cost, and logistical concerns. The enforcement deadline applies both to states, who must be issuing compliant IDs or licenses by October 2021, as well as individuals, who must have compliant IDs to board aircraft or enter Federal facilities.

Current Status of Real ID Compliance by State and Territory

Source: Department of Homeland Security

 As of March 2020, all states and territories except Oklahoma, Oregon, New Jersey, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands – who have either received extensions or are under review – are Real ID compliant. Despite compliance on behalf of most states, a survey from the U.S. Travel Association in September 2019 found that nearly 60% of Americans did not have a Real ID nor an accepted alternative (i.e. a passport), and 57% were unaware that only Real ID compliant driver’s licenses would be accepted for commercial air travel in October 2020. While the enforcement delay is aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 and providing flexibility amid social distancing measures, it will also provide the public yet another year to become aware of the new requirements and renew their IDs.

Share

Related Articles

DOT Exercises Its Airline Consumer Protection Jurisdiction

DOT Exercises Its Airline Consumer Protection Jurisdiction

The U.S. Department of Transportation continued to flex its regulatory muscles on behalf of airline customers this week by rolling out a...

Representatives Discuss the Impacts of Leaded Aviation Fuel on Communities and Children

Representatives Discuss the Impacts of Leaded Aviation Fuel on Communities and Children

Some general aviation aircraft use high-compression piston engines, which requires gasoline with a high octane level. While...

House Lawmakers Hear General Aviation Industry Concerns About Leaded Fuels, Workforce Shortages, and More

House Lawmakers Hear General Aviation Industry Concerns About Leaded Fuels, Workforce Shortages, and More

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee met this week to hear from a panel of general aviation...

Phil Washington Nominated to Run FAA

Phil Washington Nominated to Run FAA

As predicted in the Seattle Times on June 9, President Biden on July 6 announced that he has selected Phil Washington, the head of the...

DOT Announces $969M in Airport Terminal Grants

DOT Announces $969M in Airport Terminal Grants

On July 7, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced 91 airport terminal development grants totaling $969 million, from funding...

Just How Big Is a $10 Million Airport Terminal Grant?

Just How Big Is a $10 Million Airport Terminal Grant?

In the list announced last week of 91 grants to be made to U.S. airports from the first year of the new Airport Terminal Program's funding...

Making the Case for a National Strategy for Advanced Aviation Platforms

Making the Case for a National Strategy for Advanced Aviation Platforms

Our national airspace is an artery for commerce, a key domain for national security and homeland defense, and, increasingly, a domain to...

Another Case for Increasing Participation of Women in Aviation

Another Case for Increasing Participation of Women in Aviation

The fact that the aviation industry lacks workforce diversity is old news. Various scholarly studies and industry reports have highlighted...

Nominations News: Senate Panel OK's FMCSA Head, MWAA Board Member; POTUS Makes STB Nominee; Sully Out at ICAO

Nominations News: Senate Panel OK's FMCSA Head, MWAA Board Member; POTUS Makes STB Nominee; Sully Out at ICAO

There was a smattering of transportation nomination news in Washington this week. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation...

Phil Washington Rumored for FAA Administrator

Phil Washington Rumored for FAA Administrator

Yesterday, the Seattle Times reported that Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington, the former head of the Los Angeles County mass...

Emission-Reducing Aviation Technologies Presented at House Hearing

Emission-Reducing Aviation Technologies Presented at House Hearing

This week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Aviation met to discuss different aviation...

NTSB Asks for Funding & Personnel Increases, Expanded & Clarified Authorities at House Hearing

NTSB Asks for Funding & Personnel Increases, Expanded & Clarified Authorities at House Hearing

This week, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board came to Capitol Hill to give an update on the NTSB's current status and...

Be Part of the Conversation
Sign up to receive news, events, publications, and course notifications.
No thanks