The Real ID deadline now has a new date - Oct. 1, 2021.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced Thursday that the deadline, which had been pushed back indefinitely earlier this week due to the coronavirus pandemic, would be extended by one year.
“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 October 1, 2020 deadline," Wolf said in a statement. "I have determined that states require a 12-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days."
News of the delay first came during a Monday press conference for the White House's coronavirus task force.
"At a time when we're asking Americans to maintain social distancing, we do not want to require people to go to their local DMV," the president said, though he did not specify a new date at the time.
Originally, all Americans wanting to fly in the United States or to enter federal buildings would have been required to have a Real ID-compliant form of identification after Oct. 1, 2020.
Illinois DMV's had operated with extended hours to help deal with the influx of people looking for the Real ID-compliant identification. Under the governor's recent "stay-at-home" order, Secretary of State facilities have been temporarily closed.
The Real ID Act is not a new law, having been passed by Congress in 2005, but after years of court battles and extensions, the Oct. 1 deadline had been set for all Americans wanting to travel or enter federal property to have the new identification, which is more secure and harder to counterfeit.