New Illinois ‘Real IDs’ Required


Effective October 1, 2020, the federal government will require all Illinois residents to use a valid U.S. passport or obtain a REAL ID from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for Illinois residents who want to fly domestically or visit select facilities.  After years of delays and postponements, the state will now offer all Illinois residents an opportunity to get new driver’s licenses and state IDs. This ruling affects all US state agencies and must comply with post-9/11 federal requirements aimed at making identification uniform nationwide.

Here are The Options…


  • You have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; or
  • You do not use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or
  • You do not visit military bases; or
  • You do not visit secure federal facilities.

You will NEED a REAL ID if:

You do not have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; AND you use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or you visit military bases; or you visit secure federal facilities.

Application Process for REAL ID Driver’s License or ID

Step 1: Visit a Secretary of State Driver Services facility and take your photo and any required exams.

Step 2: All applicants must provide proof of identity. (Examples are: a certified U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport, an employment authorization document, a permanent resident card or a foreign passport with an approved I-94 form.) *Name change documents, such as certified copies of a marriage certificate, etc., will be required if the applicant presents a certified birth certificate with a name different from his/her current name.  Please note: Multiple name change documents will be required if your name has changed multiple times.

Step 3: All applicants must provide proof of full Social Security number (SSN). (Examples are: a SSN card, a W-2 or a pay stub with full SSN.)

Step 4: All applicants must provide two current residency documents with the applicant’s name. (Examples are: a utility bill, rental agreement, deed/title or a bank statement.)

Step 5: All applicants must provide proof of signature. (Examples are: a credit/debit card, canceled check or current Illinois DL/ID.)

Step 6: Receive a temporary, secure paper DL/ID at the facility. *Please note that the TSA and federal agents will not accept the paper document.

Step 7: After review and verification of documents have been conducted, your new permanent REAL ID card will be mailed to you within 15 business days.

For information on other types of identification accepted by TSA, please visit the TSA website. Take time to know your options.

The State of Illinois is providing residences with the choice either to obtain a REAL ID card or to keep your current Driver’s License ID Card. All Driver Services facilities are issuing REAL IDs, with the exception of mobile units and express facilities (Diversey, Lockport, Orland Park, Rockford Auburn St., Roscoe, and Washington). Many Illinois Driver’s License office will have expanded hours and dedicated time for people to get their ‘Real ID’.

Fees for a standard DL/ID and REAL ID DL/ID have increased (NOTE: Illinois Driver’s License have increased effective January 1, 2020, under Gov. Jay Robert “J. B.” Pritzker new Illinois Tax Laws).

SPECIAL NOTE: Any Illinois Veteran can also get a special ‘Veteran‘ notation on their Illinois Driver’s Licenses. All U.S. military veterans are now able to get an updated driver’s license/ID card with the “VETERAN” under the signature on the front of the card. This designation helps ensure military veterans living in Illinois who have received an Honorable or General Honorable Conditions discharge receive the services and benefits for which they are entitled. This includes the many businesses that offer Veteran Discounts.

Source: State of Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.

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