REAL ID Deadline Extension: What Illinois Residents Need to Know

The pandemic caused the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to push back the federal REAL ID enforcement deadline to 2023

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Illinoisans who have yet to obtain a REAL ID don't have to worry - at least for another two years.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security 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.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White commended DHS 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.” 

In order to obtain a Real ID, 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.

Real Id Illinois

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.

White has also urged residents to take advantage of the office's online services which include: purchasing license plate stickers and renewing driver’s licenses and ID cards, if qualified to do so.

Earlier this month, White pushed all driver's license and ID card expiration dates to Aug. 1, 2021. The extension does not apply to commercial driver's licenses and learner's permits, however.

State officials noted that not everyone qualifies for online renewal, specifically those who are required to take a written or road test. Those who are eligible for online renewal will receive a letter containing their PIN approximately 90 days before their driver’s license expiration date, the Secretary of State's office said.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, White has extended driver's licenses and ID card expiration dates multiple times.

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