US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Drivers will now have an extra year and a half to obtain a Real ID, which will be required for adults traveling on a U.S. commercial flight or entering certain federal buildings.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced in late April it extended the previous deadline to get the new identification card from Oct. 1 to May 3, 2023. Real IDs will feature markings, such as a star in a circle, at the top of the card.

Those who do not have a card by the May 2023 deadline will be required to use another acceptable form of identification, such as a passport, to board a flight. Residents age 18 and younger will not be required to provide identification when traveling with an adult.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said the extension will allow local government facilities still operating at limited capacity to have more time to reopen and issue cards.

“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” Mayorkas said in a release. “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.”


Individuals applying for a Real ID must have, at a minimum, documentation showing their full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, two proofs of residence and legal status. Acceptable documents include a W-2 or a paystub, according to the DHS.

The Real ID is part of an act passed by Congress in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for licenses. A phased enforcement plan for the identification cards has been underway since 2013, according to the DHS.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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