REAL ID Deadline Extended To May 2025

REAL ID Deadline Extended To May 2025

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In an update that should surprise literally no one, the REAL ID deadline has just been extended… again.

REAL ID deadline extended by 24 months

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it’s extending the REAL ID enforcement date by 24 months. With this, we’ll see the deadline extended from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025.

Once this new law is implemented, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.

For context, the REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, following a 9/11 Commission recommendation. It’s intended to establish minimum security standards, including incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be.

All 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and four of five US territories covered by the REAL ID Act, are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Will REAL ID requirements ever be enacted?

Why is the REAL ID deadline being extended again?

As the DHS explains, this extension is necessary to address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on the ability for people to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. REAL ID progress has been hindered by the state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through backlogs created by the pandemic.

Many agencies automatically extended the expiration dates of driver’s licenses and other identification cards, and shifted operations to appointment only.

Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, describes this:

“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements. 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.” 

For what it’s worth, the REAL ID requirements were initially supposed to be implemented as of 2008. The initial delays were because many state governments refused to enact these requirements. States started consistently becoming compliant in 2012, and enforcement began in 2014 for certain federal facilities.

It’s kind of unbelievable to think how often this has now been delayed. I mean, if nothing else, think of how much money has been spent on airport signage related to upcoming REAL ID deadlines. Now all of those signs will have to be replaced once again.

How many more times can this deadline be extended?

Bottom line

The REAL ID deadline has been extended by a further 24 months, through May 2025. If this is in fact enacted in 2025, it will be two decades after the REAL ID Act was first passed.

I feel like we’ve spent the past decade being warned by airlines and the TSA how this deadline is looming, yet it seemingly never actually happens. I’m sure there will be another excuse in two years for why this can’t be implemented.

What do you make of the REAL ID deadline being extended again?

Conversations (56)
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  1. Exit Row Seat Guest

    IIRC, a passport can substitute for a REAL ID and (based on my personal experience) is easier to obtain.
    Either there will be a crush at the Social Security office for duplicate SS cards or
    the State Dept, which issues US passports, will be inundated in 2024 with passport requests.

    The third option will be another roll back of the Real ID to 2030.

  2. Jackson Guest

    Democrats trying not to upset their base of illegals.

    1. UA-NYC Guest

      Right-wing extreme incels get so easily triggered these days it seems

  3. Carl New Member

    What is the reason why a permanent resident - green card holder with Global Entry and Pre-Check - cannot get an Real ID drivers license?

    1. KB Guest

      They can. Where did you read otherwise?

    2. SL Guest

      The state of Washington only issues Real ID's to U.S. citizens, not green card holders. A lot of other states issue them to green card holders though.

    3. yp Guest

      I check all those boxes and I have Real ID.

  4. Endre Guest

    At this point, why even bother. National security is obviously of no concern.

  5. derek Guest

    Washington state wants to help illegal aliens so the DL is NOT Real ID. To satisfy the feds, there is a special Real ID that you can buy for more money.

    Many states have a non-Real ID option but at the same price. That is better. Why pay more?

  6. Al Guest

    I think it's time for a video from Wendover productions on this

  7. dan Guest

    Last year we went through security and check in at some US airport and I saw THREE DIFFERENT SIGNS with DIFFERENT DATES for Real ID deadline.

  8. henare Diamond

    REAL ID is a complete joke. By the end of this period (if indeed this is the last extension) it will have been twenty years since the enacting law was passed. Clearly we've been wildly unsafe the entire time. /s

    (and yes, I actually have three different REAL ID compliant IDs ... doesn't make this any less of a joke.)

  9. Exit Row Seat Guest

    In Russia, folks have two passports, one for domestic ID and travel, and a second for foreign travel.
    We'll end up like Putin-land where a "domestic passport" (ie: REAL ID) is required for air, car, and train travel.

  10. Chico Liz New Member

    i'm not american, so if this is something silly to ask... well, silly it is: how do people that don't have a driver's license id themselves at these situations? what kind of document is valid as legal identification?

    1. Donna Diamond

      In California they go to the State Department of Motor Vehicles and get a State ID Card, looks like a Drivers License but says ID instead.

    2. henare Diamond

      Exactly. It has (largely) the same appearance as a driver's license, but some crucial details are different and it is a state id card. The state id cards are also REAL ID compliant.

  11. NSS Guest

    The law was passed in 2005. That means there were 15 years before Covid to make it work. Now it'll be 20 years? Clearly it's not important.

  12. JOJO Guest

    It was easy to get a REAL ID in florida in 2010. Ive renewed it once in 2020. But having to show an ID is racist against the poor minorities POC latinX. You should never have to show an ID. For anything ever

    1. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      Tell me you're a white supremacist without telling me you're a white supremacist.

  13. Ryan Guest

    The whole ID checking thing is so stupid in the first place. If you go through all security procedures, why would it matter if your name matches the name on the ticket? Let's trust the screening process rather than worrying about the name on a piece of plastic. By the way, no ID required to fly throughout much of Europe and it seems to be working just fine...

    1. GroeneMichel Member

      That's incorrect, for flying between countries in the European Union an ID is required and needs to be shown together with your boarding pass at the gate. It is consistently checked and enforced strictly.

    2. LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS Guest

      Enforcement is not strict. I have boarded several flights within the EU without showing anything but my boarding pass. I am a US citizen.

    3. GUWonder Guest

      So far this quarter, I have flown 40+ international flights within the Schengen area without any ID check. And of my international intra-Schengen flights in this period which had ID checks, almost none of the checks were done by government personnel and most of the airline checks were so cursory that they didn’t really check the name details. [If I had checked luggage airside in the Schengen area, the dynamic with being checked for ID...

      So far this quarter, I have flown 40+ international flights within the Schengen area without any ID check. And of my international intra-Schengen flights in this period which had ID checks, almost none of the checks were done by government personnel and most of the airline checks were so cursory that they didn’t really check the name details. [If I had checked luggage airside in the Schengen area, the dynamic with being checked for ID would be less cursory, but there too it would have been primarily the airlines checking ID rather than the government.]

    4. Ryan Guest

      That’s not true. At Schiphol for example it’s never checked on KLM. Not a Munich either, where Lufthansa has automated gate boarding and no checks are done. Sure maybe some airlines do this as a matter of policy, but the biggest airlines at some of the biggest hubs in Europe don’t do it as a matter of policy.

    5. GroeneMichel Member

      And you are sure there wasn't a facial recognition active at the boarding gate? Interesting to hear that it's not commonly checked anymore.

    6. GUWonder Guest

      I’m sure there wasn’t for my international flights within the Schengen area. I’ve seen people get airside at European airports with boarding passes in the name of the local equivalent of Mickey Mouse. The planes didn’t fall out of the sky or get hijacked, so clearly passenger ID wasn’t what kept flights safe from those European airports.

    7. Ryan Guest

      There is no facial recognition or other method of verifying identify. The fact is that there is simply no ID check for many/most intra-Schengen flights. Many airports in the EU (AMS, MUC, FRA, HEL come to mind immediately) have automated boarding lanes now where you scan your own boarding pass and no one verifies your ID.

      Which brings me back to the whole point here - if the screening process is robust and works...

      There is no facial recognition or other method of verifying identify. The fact is that there is simply no ID check for many/most intra-Schengen flights. Many airports in the EU (AMS, MUC, FRA, HEL come to mind immediately) have automated boarding lanes now where you scan your own boarding pass and no one verifies your ID.

      Which brings me back to the whole point here - if the screening process is robust and works as intended, what security purpose does checking an ID really have? It’s just more security theater and is in the best interest of airlines so that you can’t resell your ticket to another party…

    8. Grey Diamond

      @GroeneMichel, that is not true at all. Many airlines do this because they want to ensure that you did not sell your ticket to someone else, but it is most certainly not EU law. Many airports even have the automatic boarding gates where you can just board on your own.
      I almost never have my ID checked when I fly SAS, for instance. And with Lufthansa it varies. But it is absolutely incorrect to...

      @GroeneMichel, that is not true at all. Many airlines do this because they want to ensure that you did not sell your ticket to someone else, but it is most certainly not EU law. Many airports even have the automatic boarding gates where you can just board on your own.
      I almost never have my ID checked when I fly SAS, for instance. And with Lufthansa it varies. But it is absolutely incorrect to say that it is EU law or that it is something you will always find. It just depends on airline policy.

  14. Tom Guest

    Somehow, 34% of Americans (~89 million people) still don't have REAL ID compliant licenses according to the US Travel association. I don't understand how that is possible given the natural expiration/renewal of licenses, but honestly the original plan *should have* been timed such that natural expiration meant the rollout took care of itself.

    1. Never In Doubt Guest

      California, with > 10% of the US population, didn’t require you to get a REAL ID drivers license last I checked, it’s just an option.

      I doubt it’s the only state in that situation.

    2. Maryland Guest

      After the initial roll out it was decided you could just renew without the real ID. Apparently many folks did just that.

    3. anon Guest

      real ID renewal requires in-person visit, while regular renewal is by mail. Covid or no covid, I'm not going in-person to the SOS if I dont have to.

    4. Scudder Diamond

      Only 34%? I’d have guessed way more didn’t have it.

    5. GUWonder Guest

      I have a recently issued state drivers license and it’s not REAL ID compliant. I refuse to go to the state licensing authority with additional documentation to get something which I don’t need for my future travels.

      Non-“REAL ID” identification will continue to be acceptable to get airside at US airports for a very long time to come.

    6. henare Diamond

      That's easy--many states allowed people to renew old-style licenses into new old-style licenses (you know, instead of taking the opportunity to drive people into REAL IDs).

    7. AC Guest

      In NC if you renew online (or at DMV) and don’t present the other citizenship documents required for real IF you don’t get one. Frankly NO STATE just gives real ID on renewal unless you present the qualifying documents. That is a Federal requirement and states must adhere to it

  15. Noa Guest

    This will be er be implemented as long as RealID requires one to show a social security card and/or passport to get it

    Most Americans aren't even sure where their flimsy old card is, and the passport no one in US owns

  16. Rico Gold

    So glad I went through the hassle of getting my RealID in 2018 which involved 2 trips to the DMV. I thought I had all the required documentation the first trip including my passport. However, I had forgotten my Social Security card. The DMV rejected my passport and insisted on seeing the the old, faded cardboard, non-laminated Social Security card. I asked, why my passport was insufficient. The person said, "That JUST proves you're a...

    So glad I went through the hassle of getting my RealID in 2018 which involved 2 trips to the DMV. I thought I had all the required documentation the first trip including my passport. However, I had forgotten my Social Security card. The DMV rejected my passport and insisted on seeing the the old, faded cardboard, non-laminated Social Security card. I asked, why my passport was insufficient. The person said, "That JUST proves you're a US citizen." Huh?!? I had to make a second trip with the old card.

    1. Ole Guest

      Rico, if you were from Indian subcontinent, you’d have known to pack your 30” suitcase with all the documents you can think of and then some before you head to any government office. You also won’t forget your laptop, portable printer, camera, and white background either.

  17. GUWonder Guest

    We been told for decades that REAL ID is required to secure American flights, and yet in the decades since Wisconsin Republican (then) US Congressman Sensenbrenner got this requirement into law (and massively expand the domestic surveillance/spying state capabilities), the delays in this REAL ID requirement at airports have not resulted in even a single terrorist attack hitting a flight. Obviously, REAL ID has not and is not needed to make flights safe and secure...

    We been told for decades that REAL ID is required to secure American flights, and yet in the decades since Wisconsin Republican (then) US Congressman Sensenbrenner got this requirement into law (and massively expand the domestic surveillance/spying state capabilities), the delays in this REAL ID requirement at airports have not resulted in even a single terrorist attack hitting a flight. Obviously, REAL ID has not and is not needed to make flights safe and secure from terrorists.

    The REAL ID provisions should be scrapped and the TSA should get out of the ID obsession business and instead use its resources to better focus and keep off prohibited weapons, explosives and incendiaries. Sadly, they won’t.

  18. pstm91 Diamond

    Pretty sure at this point they are just banking on everyone renewing their license due to natural expiration and receiving a REAL ID as the replacement.

    1. GUWonder Guest

      My driving license renewals won’t be “REAL ID” ones. I don’t plan to feed the motor vehicle licensing folks any more info than I’ve already given them. And if the TSA creates a stink, they can use my GE card or passport card. And even without, we can make them play the “no ID” thing and use questions to confirm identity and clear us to fly anyway — the same thing they already do when...

      My driving license renewals won’t be “REAL ID” ones. I don’t plan to feed the motor vehicle licensing folks any more info than I’ve already given them. And if the TSA creates a stink, they can use my GE card or passport card. And even without, we can make them play the “no ID” thing and use questions to confirm identity and clear us to fly anyway — the same thing they already do when people show up for a flight with long expired ID or with no ID due to theft, loss, forgetfulness or whatever.

    2. pstm91 Diamond

      My renewal (NY) was a REAL ID and it didn't require anything extra - just being sure to check the "REAL ID" box or something like that (this was a couple of years ago now).
      Not sure I follow your logic - you'll give CBP all of your information and biometrics, but not the DMV (which already has most of your info already)? As an OMAAT contributor, I'm guessing you also have CLEAR?
      To each their own; I just hope I'm not behind you in the TSA line!

    3. GUWonder Guest

      The USG has had my biometrics on file long before there was ever a TSA, so GE wasn’t giving the USG anything more than before GE.

      For me to get a state-issued REAL ID would be an unnecessary hassle, and I don’t like the idea of providing state/local government or corporate vectors for identity theft using original documents.

      I will proudly make the TSA follow the rules applicable to the TSA whether it’s an...

      The USG has had my biometrics on file long before there was ever a TSA, so GE wasn’t giving the USG anything more than before GE.

      For me to get a state-issued REAL ID would be an unnecessary hassle, and I don’t like the idea of providing state/local government or corporate vectors for identity theft using original documents.

      I will proudly make the TSA follow the rules applicable to the TSA whether it’s an inconvenience to me or not. If someone “behind” me feels inconvenienced, that is the USG/TSA inconveniencing them by exploiting law-abiding rule followers in order to try to make a public example of rule followers who dare to be lawfully different.

  19. Alonzo Diamond

    Is it really necessary to extend this by over 2 years? I've been hearing about Real ID'S for years now. My NYC ID will expire before this takes effect lmao.

    1. Rick Guest

      Haha. Too funny. I read this and thought the same thing! I've had my REAL ID for years. I'll have to renew mine again before others do it for the first time. (But let's accommodate those who don't). Classic. And if we blame another thing on Covid, I'm going to lose it.

    2. derek Guest

      Part of the reason is to re-elect President Biden. He doesn't want thousands of voters to be mad because they missed their flights because of Real ID

  20. Jim Guest

    Can we start a betting pool on which is actually implemented first: RealID or ETIAS...

    1. GUWonder Guest

      ETIAS will be a requirement to travel to the Schengen area long before I’ll be required (if ever required) to show a REAL ID to get airside at US airports.

      With the TSA’s push for CAT and CAT-2 checking of passenger ID, I’m ever more inclined to just show up more at the TSA screening checkpoints without any government-issued photo ID and let them play 20 questions to clear me anyway.

  21. Jeffrey Chang Guest

    Lets just admit what this delay is being done for, its so that unauthorized aliens in this country can travel the country. They are in the United States in direct contradiction to our laws yet the government (state and federal) seems to be trying to make them de facto citizens.

    1. Jeffrey Chang Guest

      @Never In Doubt
      So you will dismiss the position made in a Columbia Law Review article:

      "Real ID poses a major threat to people living in the United States without legal status."

      https://www.culawreview.org/journal/the-unconstitutionality-of-real-id-legislation-and-its-effects-on-undocumented-immigrants-in-the-us

    2. Ole Guest

      Always thought laws are written by congress(wo)men/senators, debated, voted by both, and then signed into law by the president. I didn’t know they are actually written by Columbia Law Review. Thanks for teaching me something new today.

    3. Pete Diamond

      Aren’t you glad the US wasn’t as xenophobic as what you want it to be when it allowed your family into the US?

    4. Jeffrey Chang Guest

      @Pete
      "Aren’t you glad the US wasn’t as xenophobic as what you want it to be when it allowed your family into the US?"

      My family immigrated legally and had the proper documents. If my parents that could barely speak English and were destitute could gain go through the proper process than so can others.

    5. GUWonder Guest

      I think you miss the point. There have been periods of time when people perceive to be Asian were excluded from immigrating to or even naturalizing in the US.

      Most “Changs” in the US came following a push by LBJ, the Democrats and the Civil Rights movement to expand America’s welcome to “non-Whites” as well.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Never In Doubt Guest

Sir, this is a Wendy’s.

5
Donna Diamond

In California they go to the State Department of Motor Vehicles and get a State ID Card, looks like a Drivers License but says ID instead.

3
GUWonder Guest

We been told for decades that REAL ID is required to secure American flights, and yet in the decades since Wisconsin Republican (then) US Congressman Sensenbrenner got this requirement into law (and massively expand the domestic surveillance/spying state capabilities), the delays in this REAL ID requirement at airports have not resulted in even a single terrorist attack hitting a flight. Obviously, REAL ID has not and is not needed to make flights safe and secure from terrorists. The REAL ID provisions should be scrapped and the TSA should get out of the ID obsession business and instead use its resources to better focus and keep off prohibited weapons, explosives and incendiaries. Sadly, they won’t.

3
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