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REAL ID Act of 2005

Acting Secretary Chad Wolf Statement on the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days."

Acceptance of Electronically Submitted Copies of Source Documents

On February 19, 2020, DHS sent letters to the governors of all 50 states regarding the REAL ID program. The letters pertain to States’ ability to accept electronically submitted copies of source documents, with certain restrictions in advance of an in-person DMV visit. The attachments to this page reflect the two main templates used in the letters.

Green Light Law

In response to New York State implementing the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act (Green Light Law), Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf announced New York residents will no longer be eligible to apply for or renew their enrollment in certain Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) like Global Entry. The law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) from sharing information with U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), preventing DHS from fully vetting New York residents.

DHS Announces Streamlining Measures To Help States In Issuing REAL IDs

After soliciting ideas, solutions and proposals from the public, states, private sector, and relevant associations, DHS Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf sent letters to state governors informing them of increased flexibility regarding electronic submission of required documents for REAL ID applications. Specifically, the states may now add the pre-submission of identity and lawful status source documents, through a secure electronic process, prior to an applicant’s in-person DMV visit, and physical presentation of those same documents for authentication and verification by DMV personnel. The result will be a faster, more streamlined process for DMVs and the American public.

DHS Steps Up REAL ID Education and Awareness Efforts

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently sent letters to the Governors of all states, the District of Columbia, and territories asking them to provide DHS with a monthly update of the number of REAL IDs issued by their jurisdictions. The states now report to DHS that they have collectively issued more than 95 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards (34%) out of 276 million total cards. While this is a noteworthy improvement over the 67 million REAL ID-compliant cards (27%) out of a total 249 million total cards previously reported in the fall, DHS urges the American public to get a REAL ID immediately and not wait until the deadline.

TSA Reminds Travelers of REAL ID Identification Requirements

The Transportation Security Administration is reminding travelers that beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport security checkpoint process when the REAL ID Act goes into full enforcement.

REAL ID Compliance Extensions Update

As of October 10, 2018, 37 states, territories, and the District of Columbia have been determined by DHS as compliant with all REAL ID requirements.

98% of US States and Territories on Track for Compliance Ahead of REAL ID Deadline

Beginning February 5, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin enforcing compliance with the Real ID Act to better protect the American people. Fifty-five out of fifty-six states and territories are currently compliant or have received an extension until October 10, 2018. Passengers who have licenses issued by a state or territory that is compliant or has an extension to become compliant with REAL ID requirements may continue to use their licenses as usual.

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