WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Millions of Americans who don’t yet have a Real ID driver’s license – a requirement for official identification at TSA checkpoints for air travel within the United States – now have extra time to get theirs.
President Donald Trump announced this week he’s pushing back the looming deadline due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re postponing the deadline for compliance with Real ID requirements,” he said.
Americans now won’t have to get the new driver’s license by Oct. 1 to board domestic flights or enter federal buildings and military bases.
“At a time when we’re asking Americans to maintain social distancing, we do not want to require people to go to their local DMV,” the president said.
Members of the travel industry – along with governors and lawmakers – had asked the Department of Homeland Security to delay the requirement since many DMVs have reduced their hours during the coronavirus crisis.
More than 120 million Americans with driver’s licenses still have not received new Real ID-compliant licenses. Two states are still not issuing them.
That’s why members of Congress, like Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, asked President Trump to push back the deadline – even before the pandemic began.
“We don’t need 100,000 people showing up to the airports on Oct. 1 – by then we’ll be back to normal – and being told they can’t get on their plane because they don’t have a little cute gold star on their driver’s license,” Kennedy (R-LA) said.
Congress passed the Real ID Act to help prevent terrorist attacks and reduce the number of licenses granted to undocumented immigrants. But Kennedy questions its effectiveness.
“No one can tell me how it’s going to keep us safer,” he said.
You can learn more about the Real ID on the Department of Homeland Security website.
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