The REAL ID deadline of October 1, 2020 has been delayed a year because of the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. Now, Americans won’t need to update their ID until October 1, 2021 to travel domestically or visit federal facilities.

The delay was announced on March 23 by President Donald Trump and the Department of Homeland Security. 

“We are postponing the deadline for compliance with REAL ID requirement at a time when we are asking Americans to maintain social distancing,” Trump said.

Many DMVs nationwide, include those in Mississippi, are currently closed. 

What is REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants

What happens when REAL ID enforcement begins?

Federal agencies, including DHS and TSA, may only accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards as identification for purposes of accessing federal facilities – including TSA airport security checkpoints – if the license or card was issued by a REAL ID compliant state in accordance with the REAL ID security standards (meaning the license or card must include the REAL ID compliant star marking). Most EDLs do not contain the star marking and this is acceptable.

How do I know if my license is REAL ID compliant?

In Mississippi, the REAL ID card has a gold star on it.