Any traveler who has made their way through LAX has likely seen signs posted in front of every security check-in, reminding them of the upcoming Real ID deadline. While that previous deadline to obtain a Real ID was scheduled for May 3, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it would be pushed to May 7, 2025.

It is the third deadline change, as the initial deadline was October 1, 2020, before moving to October 1, 2021, with each change due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement Monday. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”

In California, Real IDs are very similar to standard IDs and driver’s licences, but will bear the stamp of a golden bear with a carved out star on the top right corner.

After May 7, the Real ID will be needed to fly domestically, as well as enter federal facilities.

Those attempting to obtain an Real ID must do so at a DMV office, providing a document that verifies their identity, such as a birth certificate, two proofs of residency that show the applicant’s name and address,  as well as a social security number.

The Real ID act was signed in 2005 by President George W. Bush, as part of the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense bill and was sparked by the administration’s 9/11 commission.

The administration argued that the Real ID would increase security standards, prevent insider fraud, assure a person’s identity and prevent counterfeiting.




































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