Real ID enforcement date delayed

Published 12:51 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022


Kentucky Today

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID Act enforcement date by two years, which will offer Kentuckians additional time to request a compliant driving or identity credential that maintains air travel access and more.

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The new enforcement date of May 7, 2025 replaces the previously announced implementation date of May 3, 2023.

“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “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.”

The REAL ID Act is a federal law that sets standards for all U.S. states and territories regarding the issuance of state-issued credentials. Once the enforcement date takes effect, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, or a federally-compliant form of identification, to pass through airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel, enter military bases, or enter federal buildings that require identification.

“We’ve made great strides in the past two years to increase REAL ID access for Kentuckians who prefer to use a driver’s license or ID card to maintain travel and access benefits,” stated Gov. Andy Beshear. “Kentuckians who have a REAL ID can rest easy they’ll be prepared when the time comes. The grace period is welcome news, especially for those still recovering from back-to-back natural disasters, who have more time to gather and replace needed documents if they choose to apply for a REAL ID.”

Currently, 17% of Kentuckians with state-issued driving and identification credentials have a REAL ID version, which displays a star icon in the top right corner of the card. In Kentucky, residents have the option to choose between a standard or REAL ID compliant version of their driver’s license, permit or identification card.

“All Driver Licensing Regional Offices are equipped to serve any Kentuckian who’d like to apply for a REAL ID version of their driving credential or ID card,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray noted. “Most REAL ID cardholders can skip a trip when they’re due to renew by doing it online or by mail.”

First-time REAL ID applicants must apply in person by presenting required documents. A list of those acceptable documents, as well as the IDocument Guide personalized document quiz, is available at