We would like to ensure that you are still receiving content that you find useful – please confirm that you would like to continue to receive ILO newsletters.
12 May 2021
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has again postponed the deadline for compliance with the REAL ID Act 2005 – this time, until 3 May 2023. Under the REAL ID Act, federal agencies may not accept state-issued driver's licences or ID cards for 'official purposes' – including clearance through Transport Security Administration (TSA) security checkpoints at airports – unless those documents meet certain minimum requirements. REAL ID-compliant licences will have a marking on the upper top portion of the card (eg, a star). The deadline extension is welcome news for US airlines and the US travel industry as they work to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on domestic and international travel.
Many US travellers remain unaware of the requirements of the REAL ID Act and the need to obtain a REAL ID-compliant licence. According to the DHS, only 43% of eligible US adults have a REAL ID-compliant licence. This is problematic because once the REAL ID Act takes effect, passengers who arrive at a US airport will have to present a REAL ID-compliant licence or an alternative acceptable document (eg, a passport) to proceed through TSA checkpoints. Those who do not will likely be turned away and unable to travel until they obtain TSA-acceptable identification, which could cause significant disruption for passengers and airlines.
DHS has extended the deadline before in light of the rate of adoption of compliant driver's licences in some states, but this latest extension is also attributable to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which include:
This two-year extension will give travellers additional time to secure REAL ID-compliant documentation.
Further, to enhance REAL ID compliance, the DHS issued a request for information (RFI) to inform an upcoming rulemaking that would address security standards and requirements for the issuance of REAL ID-compliant mobile or digital driver's licences. Comments in response to the RFI are due by 18 June 2021.
For further information on this topic please contact Rachel Welford at Cozen O'Connor by telephone (+1 202 912 4800) or email (email@example.com). The Cozen O'Connor website can be accessed at www.cozen.com.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
ILO is a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. In-house corporate counsel and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, qualify for a free subscription.