Deadline to get a REAL ID pushed back at least a year due to coronavirus

The deadline to obtain a REAL ID, federally mandated identification that will be needed for passengers to board aircraft, will be extended until at least September 2021 -- a year past the current deadline.

The deadline to obtain a REAL ID, federally mandated identification that will be needed for passengers to board aircraft, will be extended until at least September 2021 -- a year past the current deadline, according to a draft version of the Senate stimulus bill obtained by CNN.

Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the US, states were preparing to issue residents "REAL ID-compliant" driver's licenses or identification by the October 1 deadline.

As of last month, only about 35% of US IDs complied with the REAL ID Act, a post-9/11 law that establishes security standards for licenses. Once in effect, travelers flying commercially in the US will need to have a REAL ID, which is marked by a star on the top of the card.

Even before the outbreak, it was unlikely that all states would meet the deadline. Last month, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told lawmakers that the prospect of all states being able to issue their constituents a REAL ID by October 2020 was "probably fairly small."

The Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for the identification program, is evaluating options regarding the new deadline, a department official told CNN.

Priscilla Alvarez and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this story.

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