California's Real ID extension extended again allowing state's driver license to be used to fly

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Department of Homeland Security just extended California's federal Real ID approval extension to April 1, 2019. Without the extension granted, travelers would have needed a passport or other government ID for domestic travel beginning January 22nd.

The existing extension granted to the Department of Motor Vehicles was set to expire Thursday.

RELATED: Millions of California residents may be unable to fly starting January 22 without extra ID

That would have meant anyone flying domestically would have needed a passport or other government ID to fly within the United States. A driver's license would not have been enough.

People at the San Francisco DMV had no idea.

"If they need a passport they need a passport and if I don't have it, I'm going to be upset at the airport trying to run home to get it to see if I can make my flight. I'm usually running behind so that would be very problematic for a guy like me," said Walter Hughes.

As of Tuesday, the California DMV said it had been working for the better part of a year to be compliant with the Real ID act and that due to the government shutdown there had been no final confirmation about whether the existing extension set to expire Thursday would be further extended.

Meantime, available appointments for a Real ID are nearly impossible to find.

When ABC7 News tried to make an appointment in San Francisco we got a message that said sorry all appointments at this office are currently taken.

We did find an appointment available February 14th in Bakersfield.

The appointment availability for most of the other Bay Area cities we checked was March or April.

According to DHS, the new extension granted to California will allow sufficient time to complete the review of California's REAL ID compliance certification.

Travelers can continue to use their California state driver's licenses to travel. They can also use a state photo identity card issued by the DMV, US Passport or Passport Card, DHS Trusted Traveler cards, US DOD ID, Permanent Resident Card, Border Crossing Card, DHS-designed enhanced driver's license, federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID, HSPD-12 PIV card, foreign government issued passport, Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card, transportation worker identification credential, U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766) or U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential.
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