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Long Lines Could Prompt Some Locations to Stop Accepting Real ID Applications Early

Despite extended hours, high demand and time-consuming paperwork could force some locations to stop accepting applicants before the day is up

Arriving at a driver services facility in Illinois during the scheduled hours for Real ID applications doesn’t mean you’ll get in that day, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Despite extended hours, high demand and time-consuming paperwork could force some locations to stop accepting applicants before the day is up.

Some applicants have reported being turned away during business hours amid long lines at Chicago-area facilities.

“The Secretary of State’s main priority is to serve customers promptly and efficiently. In order to serve the increased volume of REAL ID customers in line, management at each facility makes a determination on where and when to cut off the line in order to ensure service for those in line,” the office said in a statement. “At those times, newly arriving customers may be advised to visit another facility or come back on a different day.”

Several facilities in Illinois have already changed their hours for Real ID applications, some even designating “exclusive days” for such applications.

Beginning Monday, driver’s license offices across Illinois will be adjusting their hours for Real ID applications. Sandra Torres reports.

"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," Secretary of Jesse White said in a statement.

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.

The Secretary of State’s office urged applicants to head to realid.ilsos.gov to find a facility and see if they are accepting Real ID customers.

“We ask that customers 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,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Kaufman said in a statement.

She noted those who have a valid passport or don’t fly domestically will not need a Real ID.

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