REAL ID delayed in WA state, across the nation
ID is especially important in Washington state because we share a border with Canada and Seattle is a major airport hub with international destinations.
The Department of Homeland Security announced Monday that it is delaying the REAL ID enforcement to May 7, 2025.
There have been several delays, the last deadline until now was May 3, 2023.
All states will now have more time to make sure people have driver’s licenses and ID cards which means the standards established by the REAL ID Act.
As required by law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.
“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said on the Homeland Security webpage. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”
The department said the extension is necessary, in part, to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card.
Getting the required ID cards has been hindered over the past two years by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic, the department said.
Many of these agencies took various steps in response to the pandemic, including automatically extending the expiration dates of driver’s licenses and identification cards and shifting operations to appointment-only.
Passed by Congress in 2005 following a 9/11 Commission recommendation, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Security standards include incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be. Under the new regulations, beginning May 7, 2025, every traveler 18 years of age or 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 1security checkpoints for domestic air travel.
The department said that since the enactment of the REAL ID Act in 2005, advancements in technology have enabled TSA to make significant improvements in checkpoint screening, particularly in the areas of identity management, on-person screening, accessible property screening, and alarm resolution.
Through the deployment of technologies such as Advanced Imaging Technology, advanced X-ray technology, bottled liquids scanners, and credential authentication technology, TSA has been able to advance its security capabilities.
The department said REAL ID requirements will strengthen these improvements further by providing an additional layer of confidence in the identity of the traveler.
These standards have significantly improved the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.