Citing “circumstances related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced this week that it would extend the deadline to acquire a REAL ID by 19 months, from October 1, 2021, to May 3, 2023.
In a statement released on Tuesday, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said the extension “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.”
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Secretary Mayorkas.
Congress approved the REAL ID Act in 2005 to prevent future terrorist attacks and reduce the number of licenses issued to unlawfully present immigrants. The law was approved at the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, which had suggested the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”
According to the New York Times, “some of the 9/11 hijackers had obtained driver’s licenses based