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Grace period continues for expired driver's licenses

My driver’s license is expiring soon, and I can’t get an appointment with DMV until after it expires. Do I need to carry around my notice of my appointment with DMV? What happens I if I fly on an airplane and have to show my expired driver’s license?

— Margaret, via email

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles is facing a backlog due to the pandemic, DMV spokesman David House said in an email.

Because of that, you have a bit of a grace period on the DMV front, at least until April 30.

“It may be extended, but it’s too soon to know yet. But for now that gives customers some leeway,” House said.

There’s some good news on the air travel front, too. According to the Transportation Security Administration website, if your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020 — sounds like this is going to apply to you soon — and you can’t renew it at the DMV, it’s still acceptable ID at the security checkpoint.

“TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration,” the site said. “DHS has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021.”

REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses will be marked by a star at the top of the card. Oregon started issuing them in July 2020, according to the Oregon DMV website.

“The difference (between REAL ID and a standard driver’s license) is access,” the site said. “Starting Oct. 1, 2021, the federal government will require Real ID compliant identification to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a secure federal building or military base, so you will not be able to use a standard Oregon driver’s license or ID card for these purposes. However, you may use a passport or other acceptable form of federal identification.”

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.