Real ID Deadline Pushed Back to 2021 Due to Coronavirus

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Does Your ID Have a Star? How to Know If Your License Is Real ID Compliant
Image Credit: Wisconsindot.gov
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Those who have procrastinated in complying with new government identification rules have just gotten a little more time.

The Real ID deadline — which was slated to be October 1, 2020 — has been pushed back.

The new Real ID deadline is October 1, 2021, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

President Trump announced that the federal government postponed the deadline so that Americans could deal with the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Real ID Deadline: Postponed Due to COVID-19

The delay means U.S. travelers who are age 18 and up and don’t have a Real ID driver’s license or another piece of compliant identification are still permitted to fly and enter government buildings.

The announcement comes one month after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said in a press release that two-thirds of all licenses are currently not compliant with Real ID.

Only 34% — or just over 95 million out of 276 million — of eligible Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards have been issued as of the end of January, according to DHS.

To streamline the process, the agency loosened the qualifying rules for states to ensure that people meet the enhanced security standards.

Before a person visits their local DMV office, states can now accept “pre-submission of identity and lawful status source documents, through a secure electronic process,” the agency says.

That means to speed things up, you can upload the needed authentication documents online before you present them to the DMV for verification purposes.

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Does Your License Have a Star? Here’s What a Real ID Looks Like

A compliant Real ID generally has a star in the top right corner (see picture below).

Many new IDs have a gold or black star, or some variation of that. Here are some examples of what the star looks like and what types are acceptable, according to the DHS website:

Photo credit: Department of Homeland Security

What Does Real ID-Compliant Mean?

A compliant identification consists of either a photo ID or an ID with your complete name, birth date, signature, eye color, gender and anti-counterfeiting technology, among other things.

Inspired by recommendations from the 9/11 Commission, the REAL ID Act was signed into law by President Bush in 2005. The law prompted a mass crackdown on fake IDs and mandated that all states and territories enact stricter standards before issuing IDs.

New technology was rolled out that made it harder for criminals to trick the system and mimic ID cards. The new rules also meant that Americans needed more proof of identity — such as original birth certificates — when applying for the cards.

Final Thoughts

The postponed deadline announced by the president means people have more time to fall in line with new identification rules set by the government.

In the meantime, here’s two things you need to know:

  1. Check with the the DHS website on when a new deadline will be announced
  2. If you don’t have a Real ID compliant driver’s license, visit your local DMVs websirte or go to a physical location when it safe to do so

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