The Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline, requiring all states and territories to meet REAL ID deadlines by the end of 2009. Forty-six of the 56 states and territories have said they can't meet the deadline, so it's been extended to May of 2011.
"In order to ensure that the millions of Americans traveling this holiday season are not disrupted, DHS is extending the Dec. 31 REAL ID material compliance deadline," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a written statement. "The May 10, 2011, deadline for full compliance remains in effect, and the Department will continue to work closely with states to meet this deadline. However, Congress must act to address systemic problems with the REAL ID Act to advance our security interests over the long term."
The controversial REAL ID Act of 2005 was passed after the 9/11 Commission recommended stricter controls on state issuance of personal identification, mainly driver's licenses and state-issued ID cards. Upon applying for an ID, individuals must show verifiable forms of identification, which shows their date of birth, Social Security number, citizenship status, and place of residence. One of major impacts of REAL ID is that a identification that meets REAL ID standards is required to board airplanes.
In addition to the tighter standards for getting a driver's license or state-issued ID card, REAL ID requires states to share driver's information, including the information printed on the license and any traffic violations. One of the major complaints from the states, however, has been the lack of appropriate funding from Congress to help the states become compliant.
Congress is working on new legislation - PASS ID - which would dramatically weaken the REAL ID standards and thus weaken national security.
Updated: Wed, Dec 23rd 2009 @ 11:52am EST