(CNN) – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) again delayed the deadline to enforce REAL identification requirements, the latest pandemic-related extension of the program aimed at establishing a consistent security standard for the issuance of driving licenses and other identifications.
DHS announced Tuesday that it is extending the full execution date of the REAL real identification for 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.
The department attributed the latest delay to the limited operational capacity of state driver license agencies, which has delayed the expiration of expired licenses.
All 50 U.S. states, Washington, DC, and several U.S. territories meet REAL ID security standards, but only 43% of U.S. identifications currently comply, as a result of pandemic-era limitations , said DHS.
However, this exceeds 35% about a year ago.
DHS also said it needs time, along with several states, to implement the requirements required by the REAL ID Modernization Act, such as those related to the filing of electronic documents.
In March 2020, DHS withdrew the deadline for the one-year federal mandate identification program from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021. It is now being pushed again.
Even before the pandemic, it seemed unlikely that all states would meet the previous deadline, with former DHS acting secretary Chad Wolf admitting to lawmakers that there was a “small” prospect that all states could issue to its constituents a real identification before October 2020.
DHS Secretary Alejando Mayorkas said in a statement Tuesday that extending the full REAL ID compliance period “will give states the time to reopen driver’s license operations and ensure their residents can obtain a driver’s license.” license or ID card that meets REAL ID requirements “.
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