Whenever the federal government gets involved in something, you should expect delays. Now add in 50 individual state governments and throw in a pandemic and forget about meeting any deadline.

Here's a great example of what I mean; REAL ID. These are the enhanced driver's license or identification cards that feature a star in the upper right corner.

If you have a South Dakota driver's license or ID, don't worry, you are good to go. South Dakota has been REAL ID-compliant since the original 2009 deadline was set by Homeland Security. 695,000 South Dakotans have a REAL ID.

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That's right, all states were to be REAL ID-compliant way back in 2009. When that deadline came and went without 100% compliance, the deadline was pushed up to October 2021. However, with COVID raging at the time, most states understandably couldn't comply. Now Homeland Security has set a new date; May 2023.

To get a REAL ID is a little tougher than a standard ID. An applicant must provide a passport or birth certificate, a social security number, and proof of residency.

Jane Schrank is the Director of the South Dakota Drivers Licensing Program. She told Dakota News Now, “REAL IDs have done a lot to prevent identity theft, identity fraud. Vetting who the person truly is when that license or ID is issued makes our license and ID’s more secure than states who have not been following real ID regulations.”

Minnesota, however, they are a work in progress. According to Dakota News Now, only 24% of Minnesota driver's license and IDs are REAL ID compliant. It's estimated that only 43% of all licenses and IDs in the country are REAL ID. There is a lot of work to do.

Why is a REAL ID important? Homeland Security will require a REAL ID for air travel.

Those who have not been able to get a REAL ID will have some more time before the new form of identification is required for air travel. When the REAL ID enforcement deadline takes effect in 2023, you will need one to get into federal facilities or past a TSA checkpoint.

Source: Dakota News Now

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