National Governors Association Calls for Extension of REAL ID Program

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In response to the ongoing impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the nation’s states and territories, the National Governors Association (NGA) called for an extension of the REAL ID program.

The nation’s governors are recommending the program extension to ensure states and territories can focus their efforts on combatting COVID-19 as well as to allow additional time for implementation to ensure a smooth transition to REAL ID. The REAL ID Act’s requirement for federally compliant driver’s licenses or other identification to board commercial aircraft is scheduled to take effect Oct. 1.

“We remain concerned about the prolonged impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on our states and territories, supply chains, the travel industry and the economy. On behalf of the nations’ governors, we urge the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to institute an extension of the REAL ID program for no less than one year,” NGA said in the letter to Acting Secretary Chad Wolf of the Department of Homeland Security.

“We believe an extension will allow all of us to focus our efforts on combatting the spread and severity of COVID-19. More time will also give Congress the ability to pass legislation that will update the 2005 REAL ID Act and bring it up to speed with today’s technology. This will also give DHS time to make regulatory changes.”

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