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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS or the Department) is announcing that after more than 15 years since Congress passed the REAL ID Act, all 50 states are now in full compliance issuing these cards, with most states becoming compliant in the last four years. To date, the 50 states have issued more than 105 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, representing 38 percent of all driver’s licenses and identification cardholders.

On October 1, 2021 – less than 13 months away – full enforcement of REAL ID will take effect at all federally regulated airports, federal facilities, and nuclear power plants.

The Department continues to urge Americans to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card or an acceptable alternative, such as a U.S. passport or passport card prior to the October 1, 2021 enforcement deadline.

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 and prohibits federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards after specific deadlines.

Security standards include incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who he or she claims to be. It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting non-compliant licenses and identification cards for access to federal facilities, nuclear power plants, and commercial aircraft. These standards have significantly improved the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.

For the complete release and additional information about the uses of REAL ID, please click here.

Updated: Thu, Sep 10th 2020 @ 6:25pm EDT