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5 Things To Know About Real ID in Illinois Before October 2020

"Can I fly without a Real ID?" This and other questions answered before the Real ID deadline

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, every person who boards a domestic flight in the United States must have a Real ID, a Real ID-compliant driver's license or a passport.

Have you gotten your Real ID card yet? Chances are, according to a recent survey, you have not and probably have questions like: "What is a Real ID?" and "Can I fly without a Real ID?"

The survey from the U.S. Travel Association found that 57% of Americans are unaware of the Real ID requirement and almost 40% don't have a passport or a type of identification that would allow them to fly next October.

To help, here are 5 things to know about the Real ID in Illinois: 

What is a Real ID?

The Real ID Act is not a new law, having been passed by Congress in 2005, but after years of court battles and extensions, the new law will soon change the way Illinois residents get into federally controlled facilities or fly on planes. 

The law was designed to make identification cards more secure and harder to duplicate or forge, and was part of the recommendations issued by the 9/11 Commission.

Real ID cards will allow bearers to fly on domestic flights and visit federal facilities.

Is my current Illinois driver's license a Real ID card?

It depends on when your license was issued. Illinois driver's licenses are compliant with the act as of Jan. 2018, so if your license was issued this year and it has a gold star in the top right corner, then it is compliant with the law. 

An Illinois driver’s license without a gold star in the top right corner will not be accepted as Real ID identification beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

Who will need a Real ID card?

If you fly on domestic flights or visit federal facilities, you will need a Real ID-compliant form of identification.

You can still use a United States passport for flying or for visiting federal facilities after that deadline passes, but you have to use that passport instead of a non-compliant driver’s license. 

What is the deadline to apply for a Real ID card?

The cards will not be needed until Oct. 1, 2020. As the date approaches, Illinois officials are urging residents to obtain their ID sooner than later.

Where do I get a Real ID card in Illinois and what do I need?

In order to get 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.

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.

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