Expired Licenses Will Now Be Accepted by TSA Amid Coronavirus Pandemic (Video)
State governments are also calling for a delay in the Real ID process.
The Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration is implementing new measures to ease travel and protect its workers as coronavirus continues to sweep through the country.
The TSA said it would allow people to pass through security using an expired driver’s license if the holder is not able to renew right now. The agency said these licenses will be accepted for “a year after the expiration date, plus 60 days after the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency.” The rule applies to licenses that have expired after March 1, 2020.
The agency also increased its carry-on liquid requirements for hand sanitizers, allowing passengers to bring a bottle up to a 12 ounces through security. This comes on top of the agency asking passengers to keep their loose personal items like phones, keys, and wallets inside their bags as they go through security.
Additionally, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it would suspend public access to Global Entry enrollment centers, Global Entry mobile enrollment events, NEXUS enrollment centers, SENTRI enrollment centers and FAST enrollment locations as a “precautionary measure to minimize the exposure of CBP personnel and the public to the novel coronavirus.” Those trying to secure an interview will have to reschedule for after May 1.
This comes just over a month after the DHS said it would no longer accept applications from New Yorkers to programs like Global Entry, citing the state’s law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license.
CBP said its Global Entry Enrollment on Arrival program, which allows conditionally-approved applicants to complete the process when they arrive on an international flight, will remain open.
States have also asked to delay the date of "Real ID" divers licenses. Pennsylvania and New Jersey have called for the DHS to put off enforcement of the program, which requires stricter security checks to be issued.
As of Feb. 28, states have issued just 34 percent of “Real ID” driver’s licenses and ID cards, according to CNBC.
“We’re having to close our centers down in counties where mitigation measures are taking place because of COVID-19, and that’s affecting people’s ability to get Real IDs,” Alexis Cambell, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, told CNBC, adding she sent a letter to the DHS asking for an extension of the deadline.
Similarly, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy also told the network he wanted a “nationwide extension of the Real ID deadline.”
Click here for the most recent updates on coronavirus from Travel + Leisure.