Tester, Daines praise federal postponement of REAL ID requirements

The on again off again requirement that Montanans secure a REAL ID to board a commercial flight in the U.S. is off again.

Sens. Jon Tester and Steve Daines said the deadline to obtain the REAL ID has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move, announced Monday, was hailed by the U.S. Travel Association, which called it the wise course of action.

“We’ve asked Department of Homeland Security that the delay of the REAL ID enforcement deadline remain in place until the current economic environment improves and DHS can certify that access to air travel will not be negatively impacted after REAL ID enforcement begins,” said association CEO Roger Dow.

Tester and Daines both took partial credit for delaying REAL ID requirements past the Oct. 1 deadline. Montana was to be one of the last states in the country to meet REAL ID requirements.

Montana already had received a number of prior extensions.

“Montanans should be worried about keeping their families healthy, not standing in line at the DMV to fill out government paperwork,” Tester said. “This measure will help slow the spread of the coronavirus and ensure Montanans remain compliant with the law while keeping Montana families safe.”

President Donald Trump on Monday said he would extend the deadline to comply with what began as the 2005 REAL ID Act. The identification has already been implemented in most states and was to be fully in place by October to board a domestic flight or enter a federal facility.

“Extending the REAL ID requirements is something I’ve been pushing for and I’m glad that President Trump acted,” said Daines. “Montanans shouldn’t have to worry about a deadline when they should be focused on their health and finances. This is good news.”