The deadline to get a Real ID-compliant license has been moved back a full year from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021. The delay is to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement.
"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.
Starting October 1, 2021, Americans will need a Real-ID compliant license to travel domestically. If you don't have one, you can also use a passport.
A Real ID-compliant license will look a lot like your driver's license but it will have a star marking in the top right hand corner. The star signifies that you went through a thorough vetting process to obtain your ID, as set out under The Real ID Act of 2005. The Act is meant to tighten security and establish "minimum security standards for license issuance and production," according to the Homeland Security FAQ page.
Real IDs are a more secure form of identification because you must present more documents to obtain one than you do to obtain a regular driver's license, Jesse Neugarten, CEO of Dollar Flight Club, told Grow.
The documents you need may vary by state. At a minimum, according to Homeland Security, you need documentation that shows your full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, and lawful status, as well as two proofs of address for your principal residence.
The cost to get a Real ID also varies by state. To get a Real ID in Pennsylvania, for example, there is a one-time fee of $30, plus the typical driver's license renewal free of $30.50, for a total of just over $60. In Idaho, there are no additional fees to get a Real ID, but getting a four-year license if you are over the age of 21 costs $30.
This delay means you won't have to rush to visit the DMV in 2020. You'll have more time to get these documents together and schedule an appointment.
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