Travelers who haven’t hit the DMV yet to get their Real IDs can take a deep breath: The deadline is being pushed back to prevent the spread of coronavirus. You won’t have to subject yourself to an insanely overcrowded, germ-filled room to get your ID upgrade.
“We are postponing the deadline for compliance with Real ID requirement at a time when we are asking Americans to maintain social distancing,” President Donald Trump announced at a news briefing on the coronavirus crisis.
Before the deadline extension, people without a Real ID–the one that features a star in the upper corner–would not be able to board a domestic flight in the U.S. starting on October 1. Some other forms of ID are accepted, though, like a valid passport for those who don’t have a Real ID.
States and travel associations were already hoping for more time on this. Nearly 100 million Americans already have Real IDs, but two-thirds still don’t have a license that’s compliant with the law, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security in February. The original deadline was expected to leave thousands of travelers stranded on the first day and potentially cost the U.S. economy more than $40 million in travel-related spending, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
If you’ve been procrastinating getting a new ID, here’s your saving grace or excuse to procrastinate a little longer. Pro tip: You can speed up the process by pre-verifying some of your application documents online before you head to the DMV.
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