Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 04:02 pm Categories:

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it is extending the REAL ID deadline enforcement one-year from the current October 1, 2020, deadline to October 1, 2021. Homeland Security will also utilize the additional time to modernize REAL ID implementation.

Approximately 25% or 152,000 North Dakota residents have received a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card.  “We are grateful that the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID deadline,” says Gov. Doug Burgum. “The health and safety of North Dakotans is our number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic and this is one more step to help reduce spread of the virus.”

The federal REAL ID Act was passed to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards, while inhibiting the ability of terrorists and others to evade detection by using fraudulent identification. Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, all travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to board a commercial flight or gain access to secure federal facilities, including military bases, nuclear facilities and some federal offices.

NDDOT services operating virtually and online

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and Gov. Burgum’s emergency declaration, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) has adjusted services to provide online or mail-in services only and are working remotely to continue business operations. 

The Governor’s Emergency Declaration waived expiration dates for driver’s licenses and motor vehicle registrations from March 1, 2020 until declared disaster has ended.  NDDOT is working with law enforcement agencies in recognizing the waiver period. The Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reported that they will allow travelers to board a plane with an expired driver license. 

Public access is restricted at all Driver License and Motor Vehicle facilities across the state, effective Monday, March 23 until further notice. Employees are working off site, connected virtually to NDDOT operations and business is proceeding in a variety of ways through online services and processing mailed-in paperwork in order to continue providing customer service on a daily basis.

The NDDOT is open online and there are many services that can be completed at