Americans have been given an extra year to update their state-issued driver’s licenses and other official identification used to board an airplane under the Real ID Act, Homeland Security announced Thursday. President Trump had teased the decision earlier this week, saying coronavirus made the deadline untenable, but didn’t announced the length of the extension.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Thursday the new deadline is Oct. 1, 2021 — a year later than the old deadline. States across the country have shuttered motor vehicle offices and some have issued remain-at-home orders, making it impossible for residents whose IDs are not in compliance with Real ID to update them.
Real ID grew out of one of the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission that studied the way the hijackers perpetrated the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The commission said some of the hijackers were in the country illegally, yet were able to obtain valid driver’s licenses that they used to board the airplanes they turned into missiles. The law containing Real ID was passed in 2005 and there was a May 11, 2011, deadline for states to comply. The Obama administration initiated several delays, finally setting the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline.
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