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U.S. Govt. extends REAL ID Act deadline to October 2021

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon is advising residents the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the enforcement deadline of the federal REAL ID Act from October 2020 to Oct. 1, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a press release from Hanlon, the federal government enacted the REAL ID Act after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks to require more secure identification for domestic travel and access to certain federal facilities. Residents will now have additional time to comply with the law.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, starting in October 2021,
individuals must have a REAL ID-compliant driver license/identification to fly within the United States, unless they use a U.S. passport or another federally approved form of identification.

Until that date, a standard New Jersey driver’s license will be valid for air travel within the United States, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Prior to the pandemic, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) had been
issuing REAL ID driver’s license/identification at the three MVC locations in Monmouth County – Eatontown, Freehold Township and Hazlet, by appointment only, according to Hanlon.

Now that the federal government has extended the compliance deadline by a year, the pressure and anxiety of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant identification is lifted for the time being, Hanlon said.

All MVC locations are currently closed through April 12 due to COVID-19.

“I encourage all Monmouth County residents to be mindful of the REAL ID Act
compliance deadline of Oct. 1, 2021 by obtaining a REAL ID or alternative, such
as a U.S. passport, for future domestic travel by air or entrance to certain federal
buildings,” Hanlon said.

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