As the official date for enforcement of the Real ID Act approaches, the Transportation Security Administration is beginning to advise air-travelers of the act's requirements.
According to a press release issued by the agency, TSA employees are advising travelers who present non-compliant driver's licenses at checkpoints that they will have to get Real ID-compliant identification prior to the Oct. 1, 2020 enforcement start date.
"The security requirements of the Real ID act are an important step in enhancing commercial aviation security," TSA Acting Deputy Administrator Patricia Cogswell said in a statement.
Other forms of ID, including a valid passport or military ID, will still be accepted at TSA checkpoints and the entrances to federal buildings, among other locations, after Oct. 1 of next year, but Illinois driver's licenses without a gold star in the right-hand corner will no longer be valid for entry into those secured areas.
"Real ID is an outgrowth of Homeland Security," Illinois Secretary of State Jsse White said earlier this year. "They required all the states to recertify their drivers."
To get a Real ID, residents need a passport or birth certificate and at least two forms of identification that show where you live. You will be issued a temporary ID, and your Real ID card will arrive by mail in a few weeks.
"You will get a new document with a star in the right-hand corner," White said, "indicating that you have met all the requirements."
According to the state, a Real ID is no better than a drivers license, but it may be a lot more convenient in the long run.
The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005, but states have been given extra time to get their identification cards into compliance with the bill. An Oct. 2020 deadline has been set for residents in Illinois to get the new cards to comply with the standards of the bill.