U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Emerson Barnes issued the following statement on the announcement that the Department of Homeland Security is seeking to offer an online process to obtain REAL IDs:
"We appreciate the good work of the Department of Homeland Security for taking this important step to prepare the country for the 2020 REAL ID deadline.
"It is a much different security and technology landscape now than when Congress passed the Act in 2005, and as a result there are real opportunities to make the REAL ID application process much more efficient, while truly enhancing security. Our research shows that 99 million Americans do not have a REAL ID license or passport, which could mean significant headaches at DMVs—including long lines and wait times throughout the next year. Without bold steps to educate the public about REAL ID requirements and modernize the application process, tens of thousands could be turned away from boarding a flight next October 1.
"This DHS initiative that could allow states to move more of the REAL ID application process online is one that we have been advocating for and believe could greatly mitigate challenges we will otherwise face next year. This is one of several policy recommendations we believe are critical as we approach the REAL ID implementation deadline of October 1, 2020, and we look forward to working with Congress and the administration to move this forward."
U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. Travelers in the United States are estimated to spend $1.1 trillion in 2022 (still 10% below 2019 levels). U.S. Travel advocates for policies to accelerate an even recovery across the travel industry and restore economic and job growth for this essential contributor to our nation’s success. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.