LOcal residents needing a REAL ID will now have until Oct. 1, 2021 to obtain one. Photo courtesy of the State of Tennessee.

Residents needing a REAL ID – a designated driver’s license to access any federal facility, including all U.S. airports, will now have until Oct. 1, 2021 to comply.

The change came down Thursday from Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who said the move was made due to the national COVID-19 pandemic.

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current Oct. 1, 2020 deadline.

“I have determined that states require a 12-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is Oct. 1, 2021.”

Wolf goes on to say that states across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs.

“The federal, state and local response to the spread of the coronavirus here in the United States necessitates a delay in this deadline. 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.”

Wolf said that extending the deadline will also allow the department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current health crisis concludes.

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