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85% of Texans have a REAL ID ahead of October deadline, DPS says

The original Oct. 1, 2020, deadline was pushed back to Oct. 1, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AUSTIN, Texas — The REAL ID deadline is six months away and the Texas Department of Public Safety said it is getting closer to full compliance. The Texas DPS said as of March 1, it is 85% compliant, with more than 20.3 million compliant cards issued.

That means about 4.3 million Texans still don't have REAL ID cards. However, Texas DPS expects to see compliance keep improving and it "anticipates greater than 90% compliance by October 1, 2021."

The original Oct. 1, 2020, deadline was pushed back to Oct. 1, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In February 2020, KVUE reported that only about 75% of Texas driver’s license or ID holders had a REAL ID-compliant card at the time, according to DPS.

RELATED: Poll: Majority of Americans support automatic voter registration, photo ID requirement

The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005. It requires a REAL ID for federal identification purposes, like boarding domestic flights or going into federal facilities, according to DPS.

Without a REAL ID, you can still use a valid passport or a U.S. military ID to travel within the U.S.

If your driver's license or ID card has a gold star on it, it is REAL ID compliant. If your card expires before October 2021, you'll get the gold star on your renewal. And if your card expires before October 2022, you can renew up to two years ahead of your current ID’s expiration to get the gold star.

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