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The deadline for the enforcement of the Real ID has been extended to Oct. 1, 2021, according to the Department of Homeland Security. President Donald Trump directed the extension in late March, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The original deadline was set for this Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, and required all Americans to replace their existing driver's licenses with the Real ID cards. The identification cards can be distinguished by a black or gold star in the top corner, and the primary use is for the clearance of boarding commercial airplanes.

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 as a security measure after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The law regulates licenses that are issued by each state, and also bans Federal agencies from accepting identification cards that are not Real ID cards. 

Visit your state's DMV office or website to obtain information about the documents required to apply for a Real ID. You do not need a Real ID to register or vote in the 2020 election cycle.

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Read the Federal Register notice of new Real ID deadline

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