The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is extending the deadline to get a REAL ID, giving drivers and travelers until May 2023 to obtain the new identification card.
The department cited the ongoing coronvirus pandemic in announcing its decision to push back the deadline from Oct. 1 to May 3, 2023.
It's the second REAL ID deadline extension stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. Former President Donald Trump issued the first extension in March 2020.
"Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority. As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver's licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card," Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles had been bracing for a massive influx of REAL ID applications over the late summer, DMV Director Steve Gordon told the Bee in a February interview.
U.S. residents will be required to present a copy of their REAL ID or a passport before being allowed to board a plane for domestic flights or enter a federal building when the program is fully implemented.
California's DMV expected to process up to 1 million REAL ID applications a month beginning in August. It's unclear how the deadline shift will affect the California DMV's timetable.
To apply for a REAL ID card, you must provide documentation that includes your date of birth and full name, such as an unexpired U.S. passport, a copy of a birth certificate, or an unexpired permanent resident card.
You must also provide a document that shows your full name and Social Security number (though it is possible to get a REAL ID even if you are ineligible for a Social Security number). Finally, you must provide two printed documents that show that you live in California, such as a rental or lease agreement, a home utility bill or employment documents.
You can find out more about California's REAL ID program by visiting the DMV website.
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