Chicago-Area Facilities Begin New Hours for Real ID Applicants

Some locations will also offer "exclusive days" just for Real ID applicants

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Less than a year from the deadline that requires all U.S. residents to obtain a Real ID if they fly domestically without a passport, the Illinois Secretary of State's Office announced some Driver Services facilities in the Chicago area will change their hours for Real ID applicants starting Monday.

Some locations will also offer "exclusive days" just for Real ID applicants. 

“These new work hours are designed to best serve Illinoisans who do not have U.S. passports and who need to obtain a REAL ID by Oct. 1, 2020,” Jesse White said in a statement.

What exactly is the Real ID and why the change? NBC 5’s Charlie Wojciechowski explains.

"Like states throughout the country, we have experienced an increased volume of customers applying for REAL IDs and expect this to continue through December 2020," he added. 

The new hours take effect at multiple locations beginning Dec. 30, 2019 and continuing through Dec. 31, 2020. 

Beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, every person who boards a domestic flight or visits a federal facility in the United States must have a Real ID, a Real ID-compliant driver's license or a passport.

So far, more than 500,000 Real IDs have been issued in the state of Illinois, Secretary of State spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaufman said, adding the department expects the high volume to continue as the deadline approaches.

The locations changing their hours include: 

Chicago North, Chicago South and Chicago West facilities

Chicago North (5401 N. Elston Ave.), Chicago South (9901 S. Martin Luther King Dr.) and Chicago West (5301 W. Lexington Ave.) will be open Monday through Saturday.

Monday hours will be 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and will serve only REAL ID customers.

Tuesday through Friday hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday hours will be 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Northern Illinois and Chicago area facilities

The following facilities will be open Tuesday through Saturday with expanded hours on Saturday.

Tuesday through Friday hours will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday hours will be 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (Currently facilities close at noon on Saturday.)





Elk Grove Village

Rockford CDL

Chicago Heights



Chicago North

Lake Zurich

South Holland

Chicago South



Chicago West

Melrose Park

West Chicago




Des Plaines


The Chicago Central (JRTC) facility will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For a full list of facilities and hours, click here.

Ready to get yours? Here's what spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaufman said residents should know to feel prepared: 

• You have a choice. You do not need a REAL ID if you have a valid U.S. passport, military ID or other TSA-acceptable form of identification. 

• You do not need a REAL ID if you do not fly domestically or visit secure federal facilities. 

• However, if you want to apply for a REAL ID, come prepared with the necessary documents. 

• We are encouraging customers to visit and use the interactive document checklist. 

• This will help ensure they bring the proper documents to the facility, which makes the process more efficient for everyone. 

• We are asking customers to please be patient at facilities as the process to apply for a REAL ID takes longer due to the multiple documents required by the federal government. 

• Customers are also encouraged to take advantage of the many online services offered allowing patrons to conduct business from home. 

• Some examples of online transactions include: obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, renewing a vehicle registration, obtaining a driver record abstract or renewing a standard driver’s license with the Safe Driver Renewal Program. 

• Illinois REAL ID cards are now a permanent option for Illinois residents.

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