States Request Delay for Real IDs at Airports

As the COVID-19 continues to cause problems in the travel industry, there is a growing concern that Americans will not have proper identification to fly domestically by October 1, 2020.

With the deadline looming and millions of Americans still unprepared with Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses, or any acceptable alternative identification, two states have currently requested that the federal government postpone the enforcement date. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy stated that he too is “writing the federal government requesting a nationwide extension of the Real ID deadline” on Friday.

“We’re having to close our centers down in counties where mitigation measures are taking place because of COVID-19, and that’s affecting people’s ability to get Real IDs,” said Alexis Cambell, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security requesting a deadline extension.

According to CNBC, Homeland Security says the deadline “has not changed at this time.”

While Homeland Security has allowed states to accept Real ID applications electronically, progress in issuing Americans Real Id-compliant identifications has been slow. A letter sent by Homeland Security to the House Transportation Committee on February 28 showed that, of 276 million ID holders, only 34% have been used new compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards.

Additionally, a survey conducted in September U.S. Travel Association found that of the 60% of participants who would be flying within the next two years, only 18% are sure that they have a state-issued Real ID.

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