U.S. Real ID Enforcement Delayed

The U.S. federal government has delayed the effective date for when a Real ID will be required as an official form of identification to October 2021.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has delayed the effective date for when U.S. residents will need a REAL ID as an official government-issued identification. In light of the closing of state government offices because of restrictions to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), President Donald Trump directed the department to postpone enforcement of the requirement until 1 October 2021 from 1 October 2020.

A REAL ID is issued by a state motor vehicle agency as a more secure driver’s license. The United States Congress passed the REAL ID Act on 20 December 2003 in alignment with recommendations by the 9/11 Commission on setting minimum security standards for state-issued identification to access facilities and transportation secured by the federal government. The REAL ID takes the place of a previous driver’s license, which will no longer be valid for accessing federal facilities or commercial flights.

Starting 1 October 2021, a REAL ID or passport will be required for individuals to access commercial flights in the U.S. Forty-eight U.S. states have come into compliance with the standards for REAL ID. Oklahoma and Oregon have been given extensions to become compliant.

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How This Impacts Mobility

The requirement to use REAL ID will have a direct but likely minimal impact on workforce mobility. However, transferees and business travelers who fail to obtain a REAL ID by the enforcement date will not be able to board a U.S. domestic commercial flight or access a federal facility without a passport.