REAL ID deadline is extended to May 3, 2023 – an additional 19 months from the initial deadline.

New Jerseyans will have an additional 19 months to get their REAL ID after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) delayed the requirement for air travelers to have a REAL ID-compliant form of identification by Oct. 1.

The announcement that the deadline has been postponed until May 3, 2023 was made on April 27, 2021

The announcement comes as a number of New Jerseyans have complained about REAL ID services in New Jersey. Here’s what you need to know about getting REAL ID in New Jersey. 

Officials said the new delay is due to the COVID pandemic, which is making it harder for people to get into state motor vehicle departments and get the new IDs.

Fewer than 50 percent of Americans have obtained their REAL ID, according to officials.

The REAL ID Act was passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Department of Homeland Security initial postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from Oct. 1, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19.

While REAL IDs are optional, once the law is in place, you’ll need some form of acceptable identification to board domestic flights and access federal buildings if you do not obtain one. Other IDs that will be accepted to fly or get into a federal building include a U.S. passport or a military ID.

“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,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.

REAL ID-compliant cards are issued after a more thorough check of an applicant’s identification and incorporate new security features that make them harder to counterfeit. Under the REAL ID Act, travelers 18 or older wanting to board an airplane by using a driver’s license for identification must have one that conforms with the law’s stricter requirements.

The travel industry applauded the extension.

“Extending the REAL ID deadline is the right move, and we’re grateful to DHS for heeding the evidence and the calls from our industry. Getting to REAL ID compliance on time was already going to be a challenge before COVID shut down DMVs for extended periods,” U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes said. “Significant travel disruption was likely if the deadline were allowed to hit, which the U.S. economy can’t afford after a $500 billion decline in travel spending last year and millions of travel jobs lost to the pandemic.”

A REAL ID costs $24 in New Jersey, which is the same cost as the initial driver’s license or getting renewed. Changing a standard license to a REAL ID before its renewal costs is $11.

To get a REAL ID you’ll need the following documents:

  • Two proofs of residential address
  • One proof of your social security number
  • Six points of ID

Here the proofs of residential address you can use:

  • Valid NJ driver license/non-driver identification card, or a Motor Vehicle Commission issued driver license renewal form (displaying residential address)
  • Utility or credit card bill issued in the past 90 days
  • Checking or savings account statement from a bank or credit union issued within the past 60 days
  • Original, unexpired lease or rental agreement
  • Tax bill, statement or receipt, and/or any letter or correspondence received from the IRS or tax office within the past year
  • First-class mail from any government agency in the past six months
  • If under 18, statement from parent or guardian certifying address of applicant

Here are the social security proofs you can use:

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 Form issued within the past year
  • Pay Stub with name and full SSN
  • 1099 Form issued within the past year

For more information on obtaining a REAL ID in New Jersey,

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