Federal officials say it is unlikely there will be another Real ID extension, and warned New Jersey residents to get the enhanced drivers license now or risk not being able to board a flight.

The current deadline for Real ID is May 3, 2023.

“Travelers are not required to get a state-issued REAL ID, however, starting May 2023, if you typically use your driver’s license or non-driver ID to fly within the United States then you probably want a REAL ID,” said Thomas Carter, TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Jersey, in a statement. 

New Jersey has been offering Real IDs since September, 2019.


In order to upgrade your current license to a Real ID, you will have to make an appointment. Those have been hard to come by, and the wait times to get an appointment can take weeks.

There is a second option, which is to simply renew your license. Renewal appointments are much easier to schedule than appointments to upgrade your current license.

While you will need the upgraded license to make it through TSA security, it is not the only option.

Carter says a valid US passport, military ID or other federal approved identification will clear you through airport security.

New Jersey will continue to offer both Real ID and standard licenses. Both are valid for driving, but only Real IDs are accepted as proof of identity to board a plane.


New Jersey’s REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards have a small star in the upper right corner to indicate that it meets new federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at eric.scott@townsquaremedia.com

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