Today, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the deadline for REAL ID enforcement will be extended to May 2025.  To be more specific, the new deadline is May 7, 2025.  You can read the full press release here.

Coincidentally, this new deadline would mark 20 years since the passage of the REAL ID Act, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush in May 2005.

As a quick refresher, the REAL ID Act came about in response to the September 11th, 2001 attacks.  The intent was to set minimum security standards for driver's licenses and other government-issued identification for all U.S. states and territories.

Many state governments, including Montana, were opposed to the legislation and passed legislation of their own to that effect, stating their intention not to comply.

Eventually, as the then-deadline for full implementation loomed, the states that were holding out had to either comply with the Act, or their residents would face air travel restrictions.  The states complied.

Okay, enough with the history.  Back to today's news.

According to the press release, COVID has caused a large backlog with state agencies in processing applications and renewals of driver's licenses.  The extended deadline is intended to allow the backlogs to be addressed.

Once fully enforced, a REAL ID compliant driver's license or other acceptable form of identification (such as a valid passport) will be required to pass through an airport security checkpoint or enter a federal building.

All 50 states, Washington D.C., and four of five U.S. territories are compliant with the requirements and have already begun or are set to begin issuing the IDs by the new deadline.

You can find out more about REAL ID on the DHS website for it,


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