The Division of Homeland Safety will delay the requirement for air vacationers to have a Actual ID-compliant type of identification, pushing it again 19 months, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated Tuesday.

The deadline was purported to be Oct. 1, but it surely’s now being postponed till Might 3, 2023. Related delays previously have been the results of an absence of full state compliance with the necessities for issuing the safer driver’s licenses. However this time, it’s because of the pandemic, these officers say, which made it tougher for folks to get into state motorcar departments and get the brand new IDs.

“Extending the Actual ID full enforcement deadline will give states wanted time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and guarantee their residents can receive a Actual ID-compliant license or identification card,” Mayorkas stated.

Actual ID compliant playing cards are issued after a extra thorough verify of an applicant’s identification and incorporate new safety features that make them tougher to counterfeit. Below the Actual ID Act, handed by Congress after the 9/11 terror hijackings of 2001, vacationers 18 or older desirous to board an airplane by utilizing a driver’s license for identification will need to have one which conforms with the legislation’s stricter necessities.

The brand new licenses have a star on the higher right-hand nook.

The requirement was delayed repeatedly over the previous decade, at first as a result of states stated they weren’t ready for the brand new guidelines. It was set to kick in final yr.

However DHS postponed the efficient date after the Covid pandemic made it tougher for drivers to get to native motorcar departments. Now it’s being delayed once more for a similar purpose.

DHS stated many state licensing companies have shifted to appointment-only scheduling throughout the pandemic, limiting their capability to situation the brand new licenses. Consequently, solely 43 p.c of all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification playing cards are Actual ID-compliant.

Former performing Homeland Safety Secretary Chad Wolf stated earlier than leaving workplace that 114 million Individuals had a compliant license and that each one 50 states had been issuing them. However whereas some states had issued Actual IDs to 90 p.c of their residents, others managed to get them to lower than 25 p.c, he stated.

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