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U.S. Travel Association Asks DHS to Delay REAL ID Implementation

May 18, 2022

U.S. Travel Association has called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to delay the implementation of the REAL ID Act, which is set to take full effect on May 3, 2023.

The REAL ID Act had an original enforcement date of October 1, 2021, but was pushed in May 2021 to the current enforcement deadline because of complications related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“U.S. Travel supports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s push to educate individuals on the need to acquire a REAL ID, but we also recognize that the pandemic created a significant hurdle to the widespread adoption of REAL ID. As we look ahead to next year’s deadline, it is clear that Americans will not be ready for full implementation,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy, U.S. Travel Association.

“We are calling on DHS to delay implementation or develop an alternative screening process for travelers with a legacy ID to ensure that air travelers and the industry’s recovery are not impeded. The delay should last until measures are in place to prevent a scenario in which travelers are turned away at airport security checkpoints.”

Once the REAL ID enforcement date begins, 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’s important to note that DHS says Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) issued by Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Vermont are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will be acceptable for official REAL ID purposes.

If you need a REAL ID refresher, click here.

This story was originally written by Sarah Suydam for Groups Today.