Utah residents have until May 7, 2025, to get a REAL ID driver's license, in order to board a plane without a passport in the U.S.
This is not what the Utah Dept of Public Safety (DPS) says - they still have the old May 3, 2023, deadline on their "REAL ID - What You Need to Know" site.
Here is what a sample REAL ID driver's license looks like:
It shows that there is a gold circle and a white star in the upper right-hand corner of the license. This means that the holder has presented sufficient documents to the DPS to prove their identity and legal presence in the U.S., their Social Security number, and two proofs of lawful residency in the state of Utah.
As a result, once the REAL ID Act of 2005 deadline goes into effect they will be able to fly onboard airplanes within the U.S. without having to show a passport. In addition, they can enter federal buildings.
How to Get a UT REAL ID
The UT DPS website on REAL ID requirements, despite having the wrong deadline, makes it clear how to get a REAL ID driver's license:
Q: What documents do I need to apply for a Utah license or identification card?
A: When you apply for an original Utah license or identification card it will be Real ID compliant. To apply for an original Utah license or identification card, you must visit a Driver License field office and provide:
Proof of identity, such as an original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization, permanent resident card, or unexpired foreign passport with a valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form. No photocopies will be accepted.
Proof of Social Security number, such as an SSN card, W-2, or paystub with full SSN. Original or certified copies are required. No photocopies will be accepted.
Utah residency documents, such as a utility bill, rental agreement, mortgage, or medical documents. Photocopies accepted.
For a full list of acceptable documents: dld.utah.gov/required-documentation
Why Did the US DHS Extend the Deadline to May 7, 2025?
On Dec. 5, the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the deadline. They said that states needed more time.
This is despite the fact that many states such as Florida, one of the most populous, have said that 98% of their citizens now have the REAL ID driver's license gold star.
What is the real reason for the extension? It seems likely that the DHS extended the deadline by over 2 years in order to allow non-documented migrants to be able to fly around the U.S.
For example, the many millions of migrants who have recently entered the U.S. may not have been able to get a REAL ID by May 3, 2023. After all, they may not have qualified to get the gold star on any of their documents. They would have had to show a passport just to fly around the U.S.
This also applies to people in the U.S. who have extended their visa stay in the U.S. They would have also had to show their passports. But the passport may have shown their authorized stay in the U.S. has expired.
This is likely why the DHS extended the deadline. This coincides with the Biden Administration's plan to allow many people in the U.S., and even to work once they get here. Now Biden is saying he will allow 30,000 people a month into the U.S. from 3 South American countries, on top of the 13 other countries already allowed to apply for asylum - and they will be allowed to work as well.
So, who knows, maybe that is why Utah is still leaving the old May 3, 2023, deadline up on their website. They may want all Utah residents to be afraid of the old deadline in order to sign up quickly for the REAL ID driver's license.
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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at InvestorPlace.com, Barchart.com, Medium.com, and Newsbreak.com as well as TalkMarkets.
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