Due to the pandemic, the federal government has pushed back the deadline for its REAL ID Law.
As of May 3, 2023, air travelers will need either the REAL ID or a valid passport to fly domestically. For those who do not travel domestically, or choose to drive instead, the REAL ID is not necessary.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s spokesperson in Chicago, Elizabeth Kaufman, said that getting a REAL ID is a straightforward process.
She said “You would get a REAL ID just like you would get a standard Illinois driver’s license… by visiting one of our facilities located throughout the state. However, there is more documentation required.”
This process cannot be done online, unless you already have a REAL ID and want to renew it.
Kaufman emphasized the importance of having the proper documentation in order to receive your REAL ID: “People who have changed their name, especially women, are going to need to bring documentation proving their name change so that when they do get the REAL ID, their name change will all be matched.”
Also, the bill or bank statement used to prove your address must be within three months old.
For more information on the Real ID and an interactive checklist, visit the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.