US flyers now have an extra two years to get a Real ID-compliant form of identification.
The program was supposed to start in May 2023. Now it's delayed until May 2025.
The US government has pushed the Real ID deadline multiple times.
There's good news for any frequent flyers who still haven't upgraded to a Real ID. The US Department of Homeland Security on Monday said it would delay the start of the program by two years.
The program was set to begin in May 2023. Now the rules will go into effect on May 7, 2025.
Once it does, air travelers 18 and older will need a Real ID-compliant driver's license or other federally approved form of identification to board domestic flights. A regular driver's license or non-driver ID won't suffice.
DHS said COVID-19 slowed down the process for getting a Real ID. It extended the deadline to allow state licensing agencies to "work through backlogs created by the pandemic."
"This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card," Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. "DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible."
The Real ID Act, passed in 2005 in the wake of the September 11 attacks, established minimum security standards for driver's licenses and other forms of ID. The government has extended the deadline several times.