To help meet the October 1 Real ID deadline, the United States government has granted permission to individual states to start allowing travelers to submit the required application documents electronically.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to ensure passengers boarding flights starting in October have the enhanced form of identification needed to pass through security. Officials claim nearly 100 million Americans have the ID already, but around 66 percent of U.S. citizens still lack a compliant license.
As a result of the concerns associated with not enough people acquiring the new form of ID in time, the DHS is now looking to the public, individual states and private companies to develop ideas to speed up the process and make it easier to understand.
U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Tori Emerson Barnes spoke out in support of the decision to add the ability to electronically submit the required application documents.
“U.S. Travel testified before a Senate subcommittee last year that, without significant policy changes, thousands of Americans could be turned away from the TSA checkpoint on October 1,” Barnes said in a statement. “Technology and security have advanced greatly in the nearly 15 years since REAL ID was introduced, and we encourage DHS and Congress to pursue additional policy changes to facilitate Americans’ REAL ID compliancy.”
“We applaud DHS for recognizing the need to modernize the REAL ID application process, and we will continue to work with the agency to get Americans ready for the October 1, 2020 deadline for REAL ID enforcement,” Barnes continued.
The Real ID deadline is causing major concerns in the aviation industry, as the Airports Council International-North America has issued a warning that “thousands of passengers could be denied boarding and left stranded.”
Officials from the organization representing U.S. airports said the deadline is a “crisis waiting to happen” and called on the federal government to push the deadline back in hopes of buying more time for travelers to acquire the identification.
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