SIOUX CITY -- Iowans have an extended deadline to obtain a REAL ID driver's license or state-issued identification card.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday announced that, due to complications caused by COVID-19, the enforcement deadline has been pushed back from October to May 3, 2023. After that date, REAL ID will be required to board a commercial flight or enter some federal buildings.
The Iowa Department of Transportation is encouraging Iowans to obtain a REAL ID long before then.
"Currently, 53% of driver's licenses and ID holders, or 1.3 million Iowans, have a REAL ID marked card," IDOT Customer Services Bureau director Darcy Doty said in a news release.
The REAL ID program, adopted by Congress in 2005 in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, aims to help states verify the identity of people applying for driver's licenses and cut down on identity theft.
Since 2013, everyone who obtained their first Iowa driver's license should have gotten a REAL ID, marked by a star in the upper right-hand corner, because they're required to bring a birth certificate and other proof of residence with them.
Iowa drivers can bring in the necessary documentation to get a REAL ID-compliant license when renewing their license. Drivers not due for a renewal can update their license for a $10 fee. Applicants must provide documentation to prove identity, Social Security number and Iowa residency.