Don't Need a Real ID? Reconsider Applying For One, Illinois Officials Say

"If you have a passport or a military ID, you don’t need a Real ID,” said Dave Drucker, Secretary of State press secretary.

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While state of Illinois officials feel "cautiously optimistic" about making the Oct. 1 deadline for residents to get a Real ID, a Secretary of State's Office spokesman said the office encourages anyone who doesn't need the ID to reconsider applying for it.

"If you have a passport or a military ID, you don’t need a Real ID,” said Dave Drucker, Secretary of State press secretary.

Druker said the state has issued more than 800,000 Real ID drivers licenses so far and continues to expand facility hours to meet the demand.

“Our total focus is meeting the October deadline," he said to ensure Illinois residents will be ready when the new documents are required.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, anyone who wants to fly domestically and doesn't have a valid U.S. passport must have a Real ID. For those intent on getting a Real ID, make sure you have the required documents when you arrive at the drivers license facility, the Secretary of State's Office said.

“We want to make sure we do this right,” Druker said.

If you plan to use your passport, consider sticking with it instead of also getting a Real ID.

A group representing America’s airports is pushing for the federal government to delay the Oct. 1 deadline for travelers to get Real ID-compliant identification, warning that some states are struggling with the increased demand for the compliant cards.

As of Oct. 1, 2020, every person who flies domestically must have the new identification card.

The Airports Council International-North America wants the White House to delay the date for Real ID-compliant ID’s to be required at airports and other federal property.

In many states, DMV’s and other facilities are operating with extended hours to try to get through the backlog, including in Illinois. Even with the extended hours however, the lines are trying the patience of those trying to get the identification.

“An hour and a half is too long,” said Kristi Macek, who waited for over 90 minutes at the Thompson Center on Wednesday. “I have my passport. I’ll come back if I have to and get it.”

The ACNI-NA is worried about stories of travelers like Macek, saying that the implementation of the bill could cause huge issues and headaches at airports.

“The nation’s airports have told the administration that this is a crisis, and my message to them is to act on it. We can’t wait any longer,” ACNI-NA President Kevin Burke said.

For Illinois residents seeking to get a Real ID-compliant card, you must bring documents in four different categories to the DMV:

  • Proof of identity, date of birth and U.S. citizenship or lawful status
  • A full Social Security Number
  • Proof of residency
  • A written signature

If residents are unable to get a Real ID before Oct. 1, then they can still fly or enter federal buildings if they have a valid military ID or passport.

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