TSA security checkpoints will accept expired IDs

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports that travellers with a state driver’s licence that expired beginning on 1 March 2020, and who are not able to renew at their state driver’s licence agency due to restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak, may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint.

The TSA will accept expired driver’s licences a year after the expiration date, plus 60 days after the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency.

1 April
More DMVs continue to shut down branches

From 25 March to 28 April, only six Oregon DMV offices will be open, by appointment only, and only for commercial driver knowledge tests and commercial driver licence issuance. Until the emergency is over, Oregon law enforcement agencies and associations have agreed to exercise flexibility and discretion when reviewing driver licences and ID cards.

West Virginia
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles has closed all Regional Offices due to COVID-19 concerns. They are extending the expiration date of any driver’s licence, including commercial driver’s licences an expiration date in March or April for three months from the date of expiration on the face of the document.

Compiled by Kristin Stanberry

31 March
More states extend driver’s licences

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has completely closed all field offices across the state until further notice due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Following the deep cleaning of offices, expansion of virtual services online and development of new protocols, the DMV will offer in-person services at various locations. On 1 April, DMV field office employees will return to process transactions and begin training on the DMV Virtual Field Office, which began as a limited pilot on Monday, the agency reported.

Georgia’s Department of Driver Services is offering a 60-day extension for a driver’s licence or ID card that expires between 22 March and 30 June. All branch offices are closed for in-person transactions.

Laura Kelly, Governor of Kansas, has signed an executive order allowing a 60-day extension of driver’s licence renewals.

Maine has extended a waiver for all driver’s licences, driver permits, state identification cards, commercial driver licences, dealer licences, salvage motor vehicle recycler licences, driver/rider school licences and instructor licences that expire during the period of emergency, which began 15 March. Additionally, driver licence vision test requirements are waived during this period, which allows many driver licence and State ID holders to use the online renewal service

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles began enforcing a strict no walk-in policy at all Service Centres open to the general public. The only transactions that will be processed at service centres are those that require an in-person transaction, including Commercial Driving Licences or Permits (CDLs/CLPs), out of state conversions, and new Mass IDs. All Class D, Class M and Class DM driver’s licences, ID cards, Learners’ Permits, and commercial driver’s licences and permits (CDLs / CLPs) with an expiration date between 1 March and 30 April have had a 60-day extension applied to their credential. The extension does not apply to individuals whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s licence, ID card, or Learner’s Permit.

All Michigan Secretary of State Office branches are closed during Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay at Home” order. Customers may use self-service terminals or the Secretary of State Office’s website for many transactions. The office will schedule emergency appointments for essential workers who need their driver’s licences (such as commercial licences) renewed immediately. While no licence and ID card expiration extensions have been granted, police are asked to be lenient if drivers’ documents have expired.

Missouri is extending the renewal dates up to two months for driver licences, non-driver licences and non-commercial instruction permits with expiration dates set between 1 March and 30 April. However, the state will not waive the mandatory retesting requirement for people who have allowed their licence to expire for more than 184 days.

New York
All New York DMV offices are closed. The expiration date of any driver’s licence or non-driver identification expiring on or after 1 March will be extended. The executive order that dictates these changes will remain in effect until at least 19 April.

North Dakota
North Dakota has waived expiration dates for driver’s licences from 1 March until the coronavirus disaster has ended.

All driver licence centres and photo licence centres in Pennsylvania are closed until further notice. Driver licences, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from 16 March through 30 April, the expiration date is now extended until 31 May. The extended expiration date also applies to commercial driver licences.

Washington, DC
In-person customer service centres at the DMV are closed. The DMV has extended the expiration date for all documents expiring 1 March through 28 April, including driver licences and identification cards, until 15 May. Such credentials have been granted a waiver without penalty until the DC DMV reopens at full operating capacity.

Wyoming has ordered a 90-day grace period to residents whose driver’s licences or identification cards expire between 15 March and 1 June. The state is also suspending all non-commercial driving exams for 90 days.

Compiled by Kristin Stanberry

27 March
New REAL ID deadline date revealed

The Department of Homeland Security announced it would be delaying the deadline for Americans to apply and receive a REAL ID due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, President Donald Trump’s administration has decided to extend the deadline until 1 October 2021 after Departments of Motor Vehicles across the USA were forced to close to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“States across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs. This action will preclude millions of people from applying for and receiving their REAL ID,” Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement on Twitter.

26 March
REAL ID deadline delayed ‘until at least September 2021’

The deadline to obtain a REAL ID will be extended until at least September 2021, according to a draft version of the Senate stimulus bill obtained by CNN.

Before the coronavirus pandemic swept across the USA, states were preparing to issue residents REAL ID-compliant driver’s licences or identification by the 1 October deadline.

CNN reports that as of last month, only about 35% of IDs complied with the REAL ID Act.

Even before the pandemic, it was unlikely that all states would meet the deadline.

Last month, acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told lawmakers that the prospect of all states being able to issue their constituents a REAL ID by October 2020 was “probably fairly small.”

24 March
Trump delays REAL ID deadline due to coronavirus

President Donald Trump is delaying the 1 October deadline for Americans to get a REAL ID, as part of an effort to limit people’s exposure to the coronavirus.

“I’m also announcing that we’re postponing the deadline for compliance with REAL ID requirements,” he said at a White House briefing.

“At a time when we’re asking Americans to maintain social distancing, we do not want to require people to go with their local DMV. We will be announcing the new deadline very soon.”

Several lawmakers have requested the delay in recent days, citing challenges stemming from the coronavirus.

23 March
More DMV branches close, calls for REAL ID delay

Mike Dunleavy, Governor of Alaska, has asked the federal government for an extension on the REAL ID deadline, due to the ongoing national emergency caused by the COVID-19 virus outbreak. In many parts of rural Alaska, people have not yet acted to bring their identification into compliance.

Sibongile Magubane, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), announced effective as of the close of business on 17 March, all DMV Branch Offices will be closed to the public for the transaction of business until further notice. DMV announced last week it is offering a 90-day extension to Connecticut residents with expiring driver’s licences, identity cards and learner’s permits that expire between 10 March and 8 June.

California is taking additional precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. California DMV offices will no longer accept “walk ins”. Customers must have an appointment. Also, the DMV will be opening a “virtual office” on 23 March. There, motorists will be able to upload and electronically sign documents to avoid in-person visits. Many transactions still require a visit, like turning in one’s REAL ID paperwork, getting a photo taken or taking a written test.

The DMV asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion for 60 days in their enforcement of driver licence expiration dates beginning on 16 March.

Under an emergency order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis, all driver’s licences, including commercial driver licenses and ID cards, will be extended an extra 30 days past the expiration date. The order affects licences due to expire from 16 March to 15 April.

Hawaii (Oahu)
The City of Oahu’s new measure automatically grants a 90-day extension on the expiration date of driver licences and state identification cards that expire in the months of March, April, May and June.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) said it is making changes in response to COVID-19 as well as Governor Kim Reynolds’ issuance of a State of Public Health Disaster Emergency. The DOT said driver licences with an expiration date of 16 January 2020 or later will remain valid until the end of the declared disaster.

An executive order extending expired driver licence renewals for 90 days was signed last week. The extension applies to licences that expire in March, April or May.

Governor Steve Sisolak and the Nevada Department of Vehicles announced an automatic 90-day extension for anyone with expiring drivers’ licences and other DMV documents. Extensions are granted on any DMV document expiring between 16 March and 30 April.

New Hampshire
New Hampshire DMV non-commercial driver’s licences and non-driver identification cards that are expired or will expire from 1 March through 30 April are eligible for a six-month extension.

Oklahoma’s Department of Public Safety is extending the expiration date of all Class D driver licecses, commercial driver licenses (CDL), and Oklahoma identification cards on with an expiration on or after 15 February “until further notice.”

Governor Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Department of Public Safety (TDPS) to waive expiration dates temporarily for driver’s licences, commercial driver’s licences and other identification credentials to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This suspension will be in effect until 60 days after the TDPS provides further public notice that normal driver’s licence operations have resumed.

Virgin Islands
In coordination with the Virgin Islands Police Department, the bureau will automatically extend customers driver’s licences that expired between 16 March and 31 May to 15 June.

Compiled by Kristin Stanberry

20 March
Tennessee DMV announces coronavirus plans

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has unveiled the state’s plan to prevent the spread of coronavirus inside crowded driver services centres.

Starting 20 March, Tennessee Department of Motor Vehicles will limit the number of people allowed inside at one time.

According to reports, customers will receive an e-ticket and wait out in their cars. They will then be texted or called when it is their turn to enter.

WMC Action News 5 reports citizens are no longer required to appear in person and have a new photograph taken through 1 October 2021. This will allow customers with expiring credentials to renew online and not visit in person.

However, non-US citizens with temporary driver’s licences (Class XD and XID) will still need to visit in person to renew those licenses upon expiration of the current license.

All driver’s licences, learner permits, commercial driver licences, photo IDs, and handgun carry permits that would expire between March 12 and May 19 will be extended for six months from the original expiration date.

The department will issue a letter of extension to the individuals affected. Affected individuals will be required to keep the letter with them during the extension period.

If you want to get a REAL ID at this time, WMC Action News 5 reports you will still need to visit a Driver Services Centre.

The governor has, however, asked the federal government to delay the REAL ID deadline.

The federal government’s decision on the matter is still pending.

20 March
Senator urges Trump to postpone REAL ID

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy has asked President Donald Trump to consider a one-year extension to the REAL ID deadline.

Under the current timeframe, all US citizens will be required to have a REAL ID to fly domestically by 1 October.

In a letter to the president, Kennedy says the current deadline could cause significant disruptions to the nearly 125 million Americans who need to obtain the new identification.

“To expect 125 million Americans to obtain the REAL ID before the 1 October enrolment deadline seems nearly impossible,” Kennedy wrote in a letter to Trump.

“Achieving that goal within seven short months becomes even more unlikely given nationwide reporting that the process for obtaining a REAL ID can be overly bureaucratic and take hours upon hours from a person’s work day.”

According to Security Document World, Kennedy cited reports showing as many as 99 million people will not have the new ID in time.

“The very first day as many as 80,000 flyers would be turned away, and that would be a huge inconvenience and hassle for them, and hurt the economy,” Kennedy says.

“You got to pay extra fees, and basically get a new driver’s license. If other states departments of motor vehicles are as archaic and slow as ours in Louisiana, we are going to have a big mess,” he says.

20 March
New Jersey extends expired driver’s licences

To reduce crowds at DMV offices during the COVID-19 outbreak, New Jersey drivers are now being granted an automatic two-month extension on driver’s licences, vehicle registrations and inspection stickers that expire in March, April or May.

Last week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said he would ask the Department of Homeland Security to postpone the REAL ID deadline.

The federal agency has not yet announced any plans to do so.

19 March
More states close REAL ID offices

All Kentucky REAL ID offices are temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s transportation cabinet says IDs or other types of transportation related documents that expire while licencing offices are closed, will be granted a 90-calendar day extension past their printed expiration dates.

19 March
DMVs close, reduce hours amid coronavirus crisis

The state’s 75 Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) branches closed on 18 March, pushing all essential services to be conducted online or via mail.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered that the states’ driver’s licence or identification holders whose credentials expire on or before 15 May, will have the additional 60 days to renew without a late fee.

People eligible to renew online or by mail can do so.

Maryland is reducing hours of operation at all its Motor Vehicle Administration locations, suspending all non-commercial licence testing and offering in-person service by appointment only.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ordered an extension of all driver’s and business licences, ID cards, permits and registrations that expire or are eligible for renewal during the state of emergency.

Those credentials will not expire until a month after the state of emergency is lifted.

The governor also directed state transportation officials to close all vehicle emissions inspection sites and work with health officials to turn them into drive-through coronavirus testing centres.

Compiled by Kristin Stanberry

18 March
Several states advocate for extension of REAL ID deadline

All driver services facilities throughout Illinois will be closed until 31 March.

Expiration dates for driver’s licences, identification cards, vehicle registrations and other transactions and document filings will be extended by 30 days through an emergency rule.

All Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices are closed due to COVID-19.

Oregon is set to begin issuing REAL IDs to state residents in July, making it the last state to do so. COVID-19 is just one reason the state is asking for an extension on the REAL ID deadline.

Other DMV responses to the coronavirus outbreak:

The California DMV offices will remain open amid widening coronavirus restrictions and closures, but it is asking law enforcement officers to “exercise discretion” for motorists with expired licences or registrations for 60 days starting 23 March.

The DMV said it is taking this action so that seniors and those with underlying health conditions can avoid required visits to DMV field offices for driver’s licence or vehicle registration renewals.

The Idaho Transportation Department has started issuing automatic 90-day extensions for expiring driver’s licences and non-commercial registrations.

Idaho won’t mandate statewide closure of all county DMV offices as concerns grow over the global coronavirus pandemic, saying the authority to close them fell to county sheriffs and assessors.

Instead, the department urged Idaho residents to use online services in an effort to “reduce large gatherings of people.”

Compiled by Kristin Stanberry

18 March
White House asked to delay REAL ID deadline

The National Governors Association has asked the White House to extend the REAL ID deadline amid the coronavirus crisis.

Bloomberg reports Larry Hogan, Chairman of the Association, requested the extension for all states in a letter to President Donald Trump.

Democratic lawmakers such as House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi have also requested a delay in the implementation deadline citing the “challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak.”

“For implementation to go smoothly, DHS would need tens of millions of Americans to get new identifications over the next several months,” they said in a statement.

“Creating lines at Departments of Motor Vehicles would be foolish during a pandemic.”

Bloomberg explains REAL ID was required by an act of Congress following the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a measure to force states to exercise better supervision of identification.

17 March
Pressure on Homeland Security to extend REAL ID deadline

The US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Committee on Homeland Security and Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to delay the REAL ID Act implementation deadline.

Citing the impact of the coronavirus, the limited number of citizens with compliant identification, and the lack of contingency planning by the DHS, the chairs issued a statement regarding their plea.

“While we recognise the administration’s commitment to ensuring the nation’s full compliance with the REAL ID Act, the challenges presented by the coronavirus outbreak and its impacts on the aviation industry must lead DHS to delay the October 1 implementation deadline,” the statement read.

“For implementation to go smoothly, DHS would need tens of millions of Americans to get new identifications over the next several months.”

“Creating lines at Departments of Motor Vehicles would be foolish during a pandemic,” the chairs added.

Under the DHS’s current plans, beginning 1 October 2020, every air traveller older than 18 years will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s licence or other acceptable form of identification to board a commercial aircraft.

The DHS has repeatedly stated that it has no plans to extend the compliance deadline.

According to the statement, the DHS has previously announced that states have collectively issued roughly 95 million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licences and ID cards out of 276 million total cards.

The statement adds that a recent survey concluded that 78,500 travellers could be denied access to their flights on the first day of implementation of REAL ID at airports if preparedness does not improve.

13 March
‘No more REAL ID excuses’ with DMV Express

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced its new “DMV Express” to improve its costumers’ experience.

According to the DMV, its latest modernisation allows people the opportunity to fill out the online application for REAL ID, upload documents at home and receive an “Express Experience” at a local DMV office.

“No more excuses. No reason for Californians who want a REAL ID not to come to an office. No appointment is needed, and now there is an option to bring your confirmation and be treated as if you have an appointment,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon.

“Fill out the application, upload your documents and bring those documents with your confirmation number for an ‘Express Experience’ the same day or at your earliest convenience.”

According to the DMV, the new service – which is available at 23 offices – allows customers planning to get a REAL ID to upload documents for authentication prior to visiting the office to shorten the REAL ID application process in the office.

The customer can then visit a field office the same day or at their earliest convenience to receive express service without an appointment.

The express service is available at the following offices: Davis, El Monte, Fremont, Fullerton, Laguna Hills, Los Gatos, Manteca, Newhall, Pasadena, Pleasanton, Redwood City, Sacramento Broadway, San Clemente, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose Driver License Processing Center, San Mateo, San Pedro, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Temecula, Vacaville and Walnut Creek.

The DMV’s new feature comes amid fears that the coronavirus outbreak will adversely affect its efforts to issue millions of REAL IDs before the 1 October deadline.

12 March
Could coronavirus force REAL ID deadline extension?

Californian lawmakers fear that the coronavirus outbreak will adversely affect its efforts to issue millions of REAL IDs.

Los Angeles Times reports the state is already falling short in issuing REAL IDs and that the pandemic could add extra strain on its efforts.

Lawmakers fear that amid the coronavirus panic, people will be discouraged form visiting crowded Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices.

According to the newspaper, California’s DMV requested an additional $200 million to continue efforts to issue the federally required IDs to the estimated 8 million residents who are expected to file an application this year.

More than 10 million additional drivers in the state do not have a REAL ID licence, but are not expected to immediately request one.

The California State Assembly’s Phil Ting expects the coronavirus pandemic will force the federal government to consider extending the 1 October deadline for requiring that people show a REAL ID to board domestic airline flights.

“You can’t tell people to stay home and then tell them to go someplace to pick up a licence,” he explains.

Los Angeles Times reports the US Department of Homeland Security has not indicated any deadline extension.  

Steve Gordon, Director of the DMV, also said his agency has no plans to restrict access to field offices.

The DMV reportedly says it expects 16 million Californians will want to get a REAL ID to meet new federal security requirements by the 1 October deadline and about half of them have not yet done so.

The agency says it has been issuing up to 450,000 REAL IDs per month, but would have to issue more than twice that amount monthly to meet the goal of getting the identifications in the hands of all 16 million.

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