AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Department of Homeland Security will extend the REAL ID enforcement date by 24 months, the Transportation Security Administration announced Monday.

That means the deadline is pushed back from May 3, 2023 to May 7, 2025, giving states more time to ensure their residents’ driver’s licenses and ID cards meet federal security standards.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, sets minimum security standards for licenses and the production of licenses and prohibits certain federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet those requirements.

Some of those requirements include states using anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be.

For the everyday person, this would affect boarding planes at the airport, if their state ID does not meet the REAL ID standards by the deadline. Starting May 7, 2025, every traveler 18 years and older will need a state-issued ID or driver’s license that is REAL ID compliant or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at the airport.

“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas in a press release. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.” 

The deadline extension was made due to the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to TSA. Progress over the past two years has been hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through backlogs created by the pandemic.