December 6, 2022

Federal government extends Real ID requirements again

Those who need to update their driver’s licenses or identification cards before the REAL ID enforcement date have two more years to become compliant.

The Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, announced on Monday an extension to the REAL ID full enforcement date by two years to May 7, 2025.

This means that states have more time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet security standards set forth in the REAL ID Act of 2005. These are the requirements necessary to board airplanes or enter some federal facilities.

Once the May 7, 2025 deadline passes, federal agencies including Transportation Security Administration will not accept driver’s licenses and identification cards that are not REAL ID compliant, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security news release states.

“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in the news release. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”

The extension was deemed necessary due to a work backlog created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The REAL ID Act was passed in 2005 following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and has had extensions put into place three times since the COVID-19 pandemic. The license requirement for REAL ID has been extended multiple times since the law’s passage.

In New Mexico, those getting REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or identification cards need to bring their birth certificate to document the full birth name, birth name and linking documents if the name has been changed. For most, this is a birth certificate, U.S. passport or an Affidavit of Birth.

New Mexicans also need identification number documents that tie the name on the identification number document to the legal name and include, omit or abbreviate suffixes and middle initials and include the identification number.

For most, the identification number is the Social Security number. Allowable documents include Social Security card, W-2 tax form, 1099 tax form or a pay stub with both name and social security number.

New Mexicans will also need to provide residency documents such as a utility bill, bank or credit card statement.

For more information about REAL-ID in New Mexico visit or call 888-683-4636.