Real ID License Application: How to Renew Online, Deadline Date, and More

Real ID License Application: How to Renew Online, Deadline Date, and More
The US Department of Homeland Security announced another extension for citizens to get their Real ID. Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The US Department of Homeland Security announced another extension for citizens to get their Real ID. The delay will be for another 19 months, from Oct. 21, 2021 to May 3, 2023. This marks the second time the federal government has moved the deadline to give citizens more time to get the identification card due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Real ID Deadline Moved to May 2023

According to Cnet, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has moved the deadline for US citizens to process their Real ID due to the ongoing pandemic. Mayorkas stated that extending the deadline will ensure a safe reopening of driver's licensing operations and for citizens to process their Real ID.

Per the US Travel Association, the Real ID extension will undoubtedly be useful so people can show up at any airport in the country now. The non-profit organization noted that many people cannot travel domestically without the Identification Card, and its airports will lose many passengers more than it already has since the COVID-19 restrictions have been implemented.

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MSN added that it is doubtful that all US states will meet the previous deadline, which was October of this year. DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stated that there was a slight chance that other states could issue their citizens their Real IDs in that time and that the extension will give more time for all state agencies to bounce back and return to its usual operations.

How to Renew Real ID Online?

If US citizens want to renew their Driver's license for a Real ID, they can head to the their respective state's DMV website (example for california is REALID.dmv.ca.govand upload their requirements there. At the website, residents will be guided on which documents to upload and pass into the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The DMV also encourages residents to complete the online application for a Real ID before coming to their office, prepared with the appropriate documents like proof of identity (Passport or Birth Certificate), Social Security number, and two Proofs of Residency.

What Is a Real ID?

With that said, getting a Real ID will be needed if a US citizen is frequently boarding domestic flights or entering federal government buildings. The Real ID Act was passed in the wake of the 9/11 incident in 2005. 

This act is to set standards for the issuance of sources of identification such as driver's license. It aims to eliminate airline terrorism by adding requirements to obtain documents granting access to domestic planes, per Upgraded Points.

What Does a Real ID Look Like and What Does it Mean?

A Real ID has a Gold or Black Star at the top-left corner of the Driver's license card in several US states. States like New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Vermont, and Washington State issued enhanced Driver's licenses or EDLs to their Real IDs.

A Real ID is useful for citizens if they plan to drive a car or travel on a boat to other states like Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. A Real ID is also helpful in getting US citizens a pass on Airports since it is a federal building.

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