Federal REAL ID Requirements Delayed 12 Months

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has delayed the deadline for REAL ID-compliant drivers licenses back one full year to October 1, 2021. As of that date, anyone attempting to board an airplane in the United States or access a federal government building will need to present an identification card that meets the REAL ID standards outlined in the REAL ID Act of 2005.

The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last week, also codifies the extension to 2021 into law.

Virginia dealers should keep this extension in mind going forward, given that the Virginia DMV had already suspended in-person dealer processing services for 2020, in anticipation of a crush of appointments at service centers for residents needing a compliant license. Virginia was one of the last states to finalize compliant IDs, and the state estimates that 1.3 million residents still need to upgrade before October 1, 2021.

The Virginia DMV has not issued any additional guidance on how the extension will impact their dealer services once the COVID-19 pandemic ends, and WANADA does not expect them to until the crisis abates. Virginia DMV requires dealers to submit much of their title and registration processing work to Manheim locations in Fredericksburg or Harrisonburg, and that processing requirement continues until further notice.

Virginia DMV service centers remain closed statewide through at least April 23. The state motor vehicle licensing agencies in the region have all issued extensions for various documents that would have expired during this period of broad closures.

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