The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension of the REAL ID full enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025. As a result, states will now have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act.
As required by the law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.
According to DHS, the extension is necessary, in part, to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. REAL ID progress over the past two years has been significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic.
As a result, many of these agencies took various steps in response to the pandemic, including automatically extending the expiration dates of driver’s licenses and identification cards and shifting operations to appointment-only.
“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”
To comply with the REAL ID requirements, Marylanders must have the required (original or certified copy)documents on file with the MDOT MVA. To find out if you are Real ID compliant, visit the MDOT MVA REAL ID Lookup Tool. If the Lookup Tool indicates you must provide REAL ID documents, MDOT MVA will provide the next steps to make an appointment and submit REAL ID documents.