Homeland Security extends REAL ID deadline a year to Oct. 1, 2021

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The Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday that it is extending the federal deadline for people getting driver’s licenses with enhanced security features, called REAL ID, from Oct. 1, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2021.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said the delay is due to the upheaval brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” Wolf said in a statement. “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.”

The REAL ID Act was passed after the 9/11 attacks and sought to make all state-issued identification cards more secure with uniform national standards.

Trump on Monday announced the deadline would be pushed back but did not say until when.

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