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20% of Texans still don't have a REAL ID as deadline approaches

About 17 million Texans now have a REAL ID, but millions others won't have a compliant card when the deadline hits in October, according to current numbers.

AUSTIN, Texas — The REAL ID deadline is only eight months away, and still more than 3 million Texans don't have a compliant card. 

As of Feb. 1, only about 75% of Texas driver’s license or ID holders had a REAL ID compliant card, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, takes effect Oct. 1. It is required for federal identification purposes, like boarding domestic flights or going into federal facilities, according to DPS.

Five percent of Texans will end up with a compliant card before the Oct. 1 deadline because their current card expires before then.

But still, DPS is trying to remind 20% of eligible Texans – about 3.4 million people – the deadline is approaching.

Without a REAL ID, you can still use a valid passport or a U.S. military ID to travel within the United States.


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This week, the Airports Council International for North America asked for an extension of the Oct. 1 deadline “due to significant concerns that the low saturation of REAL ID-complaint identification among the traveling public will negatively impact passengers and airport operations.”

If your driver's license has a gold star on it, your ID is REAL ID complaint. If not, you may be eligible to renew up to two years ahead of your current ID’s expiration.


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