The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has pushed back the deadline to obtain a REAL ID to 2023.
Originally, U.S. citizens were required to obtain a REAL ID by Oct. 1, 2021. Due to the pandemic, the deadline has been extended by 19 months to May 3, 2023, according to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.
“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.”
This is the second extension of the REAL ID deadline; the first was from Oct. 1, 2020 to Oct. 2021.
According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, there are 1.8 million Arkansans with a regular license or identification card, while 400,000 residents have a REAL ID.
To obtain a REAL ID, individuals must have documents showing proof of legal presence, such as a U.S. passport, a U.S. birth certificate, a photo document from the Department of Homeland Security, a U.S. visa, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Resident Alien Card or others; a proof of identify, such as a current driver’s license, school ID, a concealed handgun license, a pilot’s license or others; a proof of a Social Security number; and two documents providing proof of residency.
The full list of required documents to obtain a REAL ID can be found here.