Group Representing Airports Seeks to Delay Real ID Implementation

Beginning Oct. 1, travelers must have Real ID-compliant documentation to fly

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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 many states are struggling with the increased demand for the compliant cards.

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

Real ID was created after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to establish a single standard for identification across the United States. Approximately 95 million Real ID’s have been issued, but approximately two-thirds of the nation’s residents still don’t have the compliant identification.

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

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,” Kristi Macek, who waited for over 90 minutes at the Thompson Center on Wednesday, said. “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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