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Real ID deadline pushed back a year due to COVID-19 pandemic

Enforcement, originally set to begin Thursday, will start in 2021
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Posted at 2:03 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 14:03:55-04

Anyone sweating Thursday's Real ID deadline can relax -- there is now a whole extra year to make sure your driver’s license or ID is compliant.

The Department of Homeland Security announced earlier this spring that the previous Oct. 1, 2020 enforcement deadline would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the Coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline,” DHS said in a statement. “Our state and local partners are working tirelessly with the Administration to flatten the curve and, therefore, we want to remove any impediments to response and recovery efforts.”

When the deadline hits, you won't be able to board a domestic flight without a piece of Real ID-compliant identification. People without a Real ID also won’t be able to enter restricted federal facilities such as military bases, nuclear power plants or the White House.

Even with the new deadline, the DHS said some federal agencies, like the Department of Defense, aren’t accepting non-compliant IDs.

Want to know if your ID will work? The DHS said Real ID cards generally have a star marking in the upper left- or right-hand corner. It also said most acceptable alternatives, such as state-issued Enhanced Driver’s Licenses, do not have the star, but are acceptable.

Also according to DHS in September, all 50 states are now able to issue Real IDs.