Delaware Says Its Residents Have Until May 7, 2025, to get a REAL ID Driver's License in Order to Board Planes Then

Mark Hake

The Delaware DMV site makes it clear that its residents will need a REAL ID driver's license by May 7, 2025, in order to board planes in the U.S. Without it you will need a passport or passport card that is not expired. That could severely crimp your travel plans if you have neither by that date.

The Delaware REAL ID driver's license looks like this:
Delaware state REAL ID-compliant driver's license.Photo

This sample shows a gold star (actually a gold circle with a white star in the middle of it) in the right-hand corner of the license.

That means the holder has presented sufficient documents to the DMV to get the REAL ID. The documents have to be original documents that prove the holder is a U.S. citizen or has a legal right to be in the U.S. (i.e., such as a visa, etc.). This could be a birth certificate or an unexpired U.S. passport for example.

In addition, the holder has to show an SSN card or a pay stub that has the holder's SSN on it.

Lastly, there have to be two original proofs of residency. This could be a utility statement, bank statement, lease, or even an unexpired non-REAL ID driver's license or ID card.

Why The REAL ID Deadline was Extended

On Dec. 5, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it had extended the deadline to fully implement the REAL ID Act of 2005. Here is what the Delaware site says:

"The 9-11 Commission, which was formed following terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, issued several recommendations and requirements that were aimed at improving our nation's security. One powerful and challenging requirement was the development of federal identification standards for states to follow when issuing driver licenses and identification cards."

The old deadline was May 3, 2023, but the DHS decided to extend this to May 7, 2025. This follows a series of continual extensions.

Officially, the reason was the DHS felt the states needed more time to implement REAL ID compliance within their states given the legacy effects of Covid-19.

But it seems to some that the Biden Administration wanted to extend the deadline for other policy-related reasons. For example, given its loose immigration policy, the Biden Administration wants to encourage immigrants to travel around the U.S.

The extension of the deadline coincides with that goal. Now immigrants can continue to fly around the U.S. with less strict standards at airports on who can board a plane.

The bottom line is that the Biden Administration may want the state of Delaware and other states to continue to allow people with non-REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards to be able to board flights for the next 27 months until May 7, 2025.


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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at,,, and as well as TalkMarkets.

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Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks as well as cryptos, hedge funds, and private equity. He previously ran his own hedge fund, investment research firm, and acted as CFO for a fintech startup. He focuses on finding value, arbitrage, and hidden asset opportunities.

Phoenix, AZ

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