U.S. Real ID driver’s license implementations face problems ahead of October 2020 launch

The implementation of the U.S. government’s Real ID system, which is supposed to grant holders of the secure driver’s licenses the ability to travel by plane or enter government restricted areas starting in October 2020, has been plagued by problems in half a dozen states, including California, Governing reports.

Miscommunication between the Department of Homeland Security and motor vehicle departments in Maryland and California about residency document requirements have led to some Real IDs becoming invalid or needing recertification, and some states that initially declined to participate are behind schedule. The confusion in several states relates to whether copies of identification documents were kept on file by the state agency, or what kinds of documents count as proof of residency.

Those without a Real ID can still board aircraft using a passport, though the Transportation Safety Administration expects some confusion when the new rules come into effect.

The Real ID program has been criticized by groups ranging from tea party Republicans to the American Civil Liberties Union, according to Governing.

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