New data from a travel organization shows as many as 182 million Americans still do not meet Real ID requirements as the October 1 deadline looms.
According to CBSNews.com, U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President Tori Barnes revealed that 57 percent of citizens in the United States are not aware of the upcoming deadline and what it means to their travel plans.
For travelers, the new Real IDs will be needed when boarding a flight, entering a federal building or visiting a military base. To ease the stress, airports will also accept passports, military IDs and Global Entry cards.
The U.S. Travel Association said while nearly 100 million U.S. citizens already have the Real ID cards, only 34 percent of Americans have received their updated license, which will cause havoc for travelers at airports in October.
“The potential is catastrophic. We’re absolutely not Real ID ready at all,” Barnes told CBS News. “We know 99 million Americans don’t have a Real ID. It’s going to be Thanksgiving 2020 where Grandma goes to get on a plane and she can’t go see her grandkids.”
“Eighty-thousand people on the first day could be turned away,” Barnes continued. “About half a million in the first week. And $300 million is what that could cost in economic loss.”
To help meet the October 1 deadline, the U.S. government has granted permission to individual states to start allowing travelers to submit the required Real ID application documents electronically.
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security is looking to the public, individual states and private companies to develop ideas to speed up the process and make it easier to understand.
The Airports Council International-North America said the deadline is a “crisis waiting to happen” and called on the federal government to push the deadline back in hopes of buying more time for travelers to acquire the identification.
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