CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island DMV has announced that the Department of Homeland Security has granted the state an extension to comply with the federal REAL ID Act.
Rhode Island is among the nearly 20 states recently granted extensions to October 2018.
Starting on January 22, 2018, driver’s licenses or state IDs issued by states that are not in compliance with the REAL ID Act and that have not been granted an extension by the Department of Homeland Security may not be used to fly within the United States.
Beginning on October 1, 2020, every traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID or another acceptable form of identification, such as passports, to fly within the United States.
The federal government passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 in response to the 9/11 terror attacks to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.
The act prohibits federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet certain standards.
The Rhode Island DMV said it has moved steadily toward compliance with REAL ID, receiving previous extensions to continue its efforts. The agency said its new computer system was a major step towards compliance.
The DMV said it plans to start the driver’s license re-certification process in January 2019.