The Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, announced on March 26, 2020 that the deadline for enforcing REAL ID requirements has been pushed back from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Restrictions and temporary closures at state licensing stations due to the pandemic led to the decision. According to Wolf, these impediments “will preclude millions of people from applying for and receiving their REAL ID.”
Federal contractors need to be aware of this deadline, as a REAL ID may be required to perform on their contracts. Driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act will not be sufficient to gain access to federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, or board federally regulated commercial aircraft.