Illinois REAL ID Requirements: What to Bring, Cost and Other Things You Need to Know

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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While REAL IDs won't be necessary to board domestic flights until the spring of 2023, some people are planning to get their identification cards now that the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be ending.

If you find yourself in that boat, here's what you you need to know:

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

The pandemic led to extended deadlines for both driver's licenses and ID cards.

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.

“I applaud the decision by DHS to extend the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023 – 19 months past the old deadline of Oct. 1, 2021,” White said. “This is the proper and necessary action in response to the pandemic.” 

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