REAL ID deadline extended to May 2023

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 11:20 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Those who have not been able to get a REAL ID now have some more time before the new form of identification is required for air travel.

The Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID full enforcement deadline by 19 months, to May of 2023.

REAL ID’s are enhanced driver’s license or identification cards, which feature a star in the top right corner.

REAL ID enforcement was originally supposed to take effect over a decade ago, in 2009.

To get a REAL ID, you must provide a passport or birth certificate, a social security number, and proof of residency when getting your ID.

“They have done a lot to prevent identity theft, identity fraud,” said Jane Schrank, Director of the South Dakota Drivers Licensing Program. “Vetting who the person truly is when that license or ID is issued makes our license and ID’s more secure than states who have not been following real ID regulations.”

When the REAL ID enforcement deadline takes effect, you will need one to get into federal facilities or federally regulated aircraft.

“You would need that to get through the security checkpoint to get on your flight,” said Dan Letellier, Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Airport. “The deadline for that has been moved back for quite a few years, it was October of 2021, now that’s moved back to May of 23.”

South Dakota has been issuing REAL ID since 2009, leading to more than 695,000 citizens having REAL ID’S.

“South Dakota, I think is in really good shape because we have been doing it for quite some time, but our neighboring states like Minnesota, they just recently come out with their REAL ID driver’s license and the process for getting it issued,” said Letellier.

Minnesota has only about 24% of driver’s license and ID holders with a REAL ID.

While each state is now issuing REAL ID, currently only about 43% of American ID’s are considered REAL ID’S.

“This extension was requested by states because of the effects of COVID-19 state offices have had to close so those states that were already kind of behind the curve have fallen even further behind,” said Jane Schrank.

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