REAL ID Extended until May 3, 2023
Federal REAL ID Enforcement Deadline Extended to May 3, 2023
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has significantly impacted states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity. DHS will publish an interim final rule in the coming days to effectuate this enforcement date change.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.”
Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.
All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are now compliant with REAL ID security standards and are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. However, many state licensing agencies have extended the deadline for renewing expiring licenses due to a widespread shift to appointment-only scheduling protocols during the pandemic that has significantly limited states’ capacity to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. As a result, only 43 percent of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards are currently REAL ID-compliant. DHS and various states also need time to implement requirements mandated by the REAL ID Modernization Act, including changes that will streamline processing by allowing the electronic submission of certain documents.
DHS continues to work closely with all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to implement REAL ID Act requirements.
What do I need to do?
When deciding whether and when to get a REAL ID, you should consider your individual needs for driving, travel, or visits to Federal facilities, and other activities that may necessitate a different ID. Listed below are overviews of each type of identification, with links for additional detail on documentation necessary for obtaining each ID.
Resources providing additional information:
Minnesota Standard Driver’s License or ID Card
Now: These can be used as a valid form of identification and for lawful driving privileges. These cards are also an acceptable form of ID for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities. Beginning May 3, 2023: While these cards will continue to be a valid form of identification and driving privileges, they will not be accepted for domestic air travel or access to federal facilities. Another form of identification, such as a valid passport, REAL ID or Enhanced Driver’s License, will be required for air travel or access to federal facilities.
Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Enhanced ID Card (EID)
Now and beginning May 3, 2023: In addition to being a valid form of identification and indicating lawful driving privileges, EDLs and EIDs can be used as a border crossing document to re-enter the U.S. by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, and some countries in the Caribbean. They can also be used for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities, and are only issued to U.S. citizens. Learn more on the DPS-DVS website.
REAL ID-Compliant Driver’s License or ID Card
Beginning May 3, 2023: REAL ID-compliant cards will be an accepted form of identification for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities. These cards can be used as a valid form of identification and for lawful driving privileges. These cards cannot be used as border crossing documents. Learn more on the state’s REAL ID website: REALID.dps.mn.gov.