Illinois Driver's License Renewal Deadline Approaches

The pandemic caused the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to push back the federal REAL ID enforcement deadline by two years

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The extended driver's license renewal deadline is quickly approaching for Illinois residents, with the last chance to get the new REAL ID identification still about 11 months away.

Secretary of State Jesse White in late March extended expiration dates for driver's licenses and ID cards an additional two months, to Aug. 1. The extension doesn't apply to commercial driver's licenses and CDL learner's permits.

The pandemic also caused the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to push back the REAL ID enforcement deadline by a year.

DHS delayed the requirement of air travelers to have a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to May 3, 2023 due to the coronavirus pandemic, 19 months after the previous Oct. 1 deadline.

White commended the federal agency for extending the deadline, saying airports will continue to accept current state driver's licenses and ID cards for the next two years.

Residents will be required to visit an Illinois Secretary of State Driver Services facility and provide documents that prove their identity, their Social Security number, a written signature and two documents that show proof of residency.

A REAL ID card will cost the same as a driver’s license ($30) or a state ID ($20).

  • For proof of identity, a passport, a U.S. birth certificate, an employment authorization document, or a permanent resident card will be accepted. 
  • Residents will also need to provide proof of their Social Security number. A Social Security card, a W-2, or a pay stub with a Social Security number on it will be accepted. 
  • Residency documentation will also be required, so residents will need to provide at least two proofs of residency. Those can include a utility bill, a rental agreement, a deed/title, or a bank statement. 
  • Residents will need to provide proof of signature. A credit or debit card, a canceled check, or a current Illinois driver’s license or ID can be used for proof of signature. 

After providing those documents, residents will receive a temporary paper ID at the facility (although residents are reminded that the TSA will NOT accept that paper ID), and will receive their new ID in the mail within 15 business days.

Real Id Illinois

Illinois Secretary of State driver facilities across the Chicago area have been experiencing high volumes of foot traffic since the state started reopening, despite expanded online services.

"Although Secretary of State Driver Services facilities have been open throughout much of the pandemic for in-person transactions, many residents chose not to visit a facility for fear of contracting COVID-19," a representative from the Secretary of State said. "As a result, we have been experiencing heavy customer volume at our facilities, especially those in the Chicago metropolitan area."

Secretary of State officials have also been warning residents of scammers seeking personal information claiming to be the official government office.

The scams are typically over email or text message to Illinoisans, claiming to be the Secretary of State's office by using website logos and mastheads, according to a release.

“I have zero tolerance for fraudsters who prey on people in desperate times,” White said. “My office is working with the Illinois Attorney General’s office to protect Illinoisans from falling victim to these fraudulent schemes.”

White warned recipients to not click on any links or provide any information to the texts or emails. The Secretary of State's office will never request personal information, such as a Social Security number, over text or email, he said.

“Delete the text or email,” White said. “Do not click on them and do not provide any of your personal information.”

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