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Nothing is worse than standing in line at the DMV to get a new driver’s license. I take that back, standing in line to get a new driver’s license before your current one expires. That’s worse. The United States Travel Association (USTA) asked the DHS to delay the implementation of the REAL ID Act. 

USTA Calls for Delay on REAL ID Act

USTA Executive VP of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes called out to DHS. In a statement, he asked to delay the implementation of the REAL ID Act.

“U.S. Travel supports the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s push to educate individuals on the need to acquire a REAL ID, but we also recognize that the pandemic created a significant hurdle to the widespread adoption of REAL ID. As we look ahead to next year’s deadline, it is clear that Americans will not be ready for full implementation.

“We are calling on DHS to delay implementation or develop an alternative screening process for travelers with a legacy ID to ensure that air travelers and the industry’s recovery are not impeded. The delay should last until measures are in place to prevent a scenario in which travelers are turned away at airport security checkpoints.”


Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission. The proposal is that the federal government “set standards for issuing sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. It also prohibits federal agencies from accepting IDs from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes. This could fundamentally alter the boarding process.

Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline. The new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 3, 2023. 

Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.

Mark McKee
Mark McKee
Mark McKee is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


by Virgin America Flight Attendant
TJ Newman