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Trump to delay deadline to acquire Real ID due to coronavirus
President Trump on Monday said the federal government will delay requirements for Americans to obtain a Real ID to travel, citing the coronavirus.
Trump told reporters at the White House that he was postponing the Oct. 1, 2020, deadline in order to alleviate crowding at local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices.
"At a time when we're asking Americans to maintain social distancing, we do not want to require people to go with their local DMV," Trump said. "We will be announcing the new deadline very soon."
The law's implementation plan previously stipulated that on Oct. 1, 2020, people will need Real ID-compliant identification in order to board commercial flights, enter federal buildings or gain access to American nuclear plants.
Three Democratic chairmen of relevant House committees sent a letter last week to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asking for the implementation of the Real ID Act to be delayed, citing the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
"For implementation to go smoothly, DHS would need tens of millions of Americans to get new identifications over the next several months. Creating lines at Departments of Motor Vehicles would be foolish during a pandemic," the chairmen wrote.
The federal government has issued guidelines urging Americans to avoid groups of more than 10 people to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Several states have instituted even stricter measures, with California, Michigan, Illinois, New York and others implementing shelter-in-place advisories.
There are more than 43,000 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. as of Monday, and more than 500 Americans have died from the disease.