Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said the agency has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline one year to Oct.1, 2021, in the wake of COVID-19.
The extension is in accordance with directives from President Donald Trump, and DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days.
“I have determined that states require a 12-month delay,” DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in an agency statement. “The federal, state, and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline.”
He said state and local partners are working tirelessly to flatten the curve and DHS seeks to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts.
“States across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs,” Wolf said. “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.”
Wolf said protecting the health and national security of the American people continues to be a top priority for the president and DHS.