U.S. Travel Association is pushing for another extension to the REAL ID deadline a year from implementation.
The deadline, which is right now set for May 3, 2023, should be pushed back a year in order to account for the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which U.S. Travel said “Created a significant hurdle” to widespread adoption.
“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,” U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said.
“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.”
Real ID implementation has suffered from stops and starts since the Act was passed by Congress in 2005, aimed to unify security standards for the IDs across states.. In March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, the DHS pushed it back indefinitely because of COVID-19, eventually landing on Oct. 1, 2020, and then pushing it back again a full year to Oct. 1, 2021.
Real ID was then pushed back in April 2021 by 19 months because of COVID-19’s impact on the enforcement. For the moment, the May 3 deadline remains even with the push from U.S. Travel this week.