Deadline for REAL ID and taking domestic flights in 2023

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended 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.

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.  

It is recommended that travelers select the REAL ID option at their next driver's license renewal.  Those with standard driver's licenses would need a second form of ID, such as a passport or passport card, to board domestic flights, enter many government buildings, and to visit military installations, beginning May 3, 2023.  Some military installations have begun enforcing the REAL ID policy early, so it's smart to verify with each base.

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