Countdown to REAL ID
Updated: April 18, 2013
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed this week that another six states--Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah and Vermont--are in compliance with the REAL ID, bringing the total to 19 states (see below for list of 13 states).
On Dec. 20, the Department of Homeland Security issued a press release announcing that beginning on Jan. 15, 2013, those states that are not in compliance with the REAL ID standards will receive a temporary deferment of enforcement, of at least six months, during which federal agencies will continue to accept state-issued drivers licenses and identification cards from those states for boarding commercial aircraft and other official purposes. Following this minimum period of six months of non-enforcement, DHS will announce, no later than Fall 2013, a schedule for phased-in enforcement. While DHS did not offer a specific date as to when phased-in enforcement would begin, they did note that the announcement of phased-in enforcement will not result in immediate enforcement.
As part of this announcement, DHS sent individual letters to each state’s governor’s office. DHS organized states into three groups based on their standing with regards to REAL ID compliance. The first group, consisting of 13 states (Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) was found to have met the standards of the REAL ID Act of 2005 for driver’s licenses and identification cards. The second group consisted of those states that are not yet compliant with the standards but have contacted DHS regarding the status of their implementation efforts. The third group consists of states from which DHS has not received any information regarding that state’s REAL ID implementation efforts.
NCSL Policy Directive
Background Information - The Act, Regulations, Implementation Guidance