Travel Advisories and REAL ID Deadline Delayed Until Late 2021

Business travel is currently at a standstill due to the spread of the coronavirus. Travel advisories have been issued by the U.S. Department of State, including the avoidance of all international travel at this time due to the global impact of COVID-19.  Effective March 20, 2020, passports will only be issued for individuals with a qualified life-or-death emergency for immediate international travel within 72 hours.  The Department notes the status of their operations may change quickly. OMNI encourages our clients to keep up to date with travel advisories and travel related resources by consulting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html.

Additionally, before the coronavirus outbreak spread across the country, states were preparing to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or identification by the October 1, 2020 deadline. The REAL ID Act is a measure to heighten minimum security requirements for federally mandated identification needed for passengers to board a commercially operated aircraft.

To help flatten the pandemic curve, states across the country are temporarily closing or restricting access to DMVs. This precludes millions of people from applying for and receiving their REAL ID. On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the enforcement date for the REAL ID Act will be pushed out one year to October 1, 2021. It is anticipated that extending the deadline will also allow the Department to work with Congress to implement changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs when the current health crisis concludes. Once in effect, travelers flying commercially in the U.S. will need to have a REAL ID, which is marked by a star on the top of the card. For more information visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id.

Note that all current valid IDs will continue to be accepted by airport security for domestic travel, along with passports and Global Entry cards.

The OMNI team wishes you safety and security during this time of uncertainty.

Nancy Miller
Senior Consultant
OMNI Human Resource Management

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