Did you know beginning October 1, 2020, any person who wants to board a domestic flight in the United States must have a Real ID, a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or a passport?

If you haven’t heard about this change you are not alone.  A recent study from the U.S. Travel Association has found that 57% of Americans are unaware of the Real ID requirement and almost 40% of people don’t have a passport or type of identification that will allow them to fly come October 1st

Here are a few things to know about the Real ID.

  1. When did the law change? The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 but after some court battles the new law will finally go into effect this year.  The new law is designed to make ID cards more secure and harder to duplicate or forge. 
  2. Is my driver’s license a Real ID?  If your license 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 a Real ID identification beginning October 1, 2020.
  3. Who will need a Real ID card?  If you fly on domestic flights or visit federal facilities, you will need a Real ID.  You can still use a United States passport for flying or for visiting federal facilities after the deadline passes.
  4. Where do I get a Real ID card in Illinois and what will I need to get the card?  You must visit an Illinois Secretary of State Driver Services facility and provide documents that prove your identity, your social security number, a written signature and 2 documents that show proof of residency. 
    • For proof of identity, a passport, 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 by providing their card, or a W-2 pay stub with Social Security number listed
    • Residency documentation will also be required, so residents will need to provide at least 2 proofs of residency.  Those can include a rental agreement, utility bill, a deed/title or a bank statement.
    • Residents will need to provide proof of signature.  A debit or credit card, a canceled check or a current Illinois driver’s license or ID can be used as a proof of signature.
  5. What does it cost to get a Real ID?  A real ID card will cost the same as a driver’s license $30 or a state ID $20.

After providing the documents and paying your fee you will receive a temporary paper ID at the facility and will receive their new ID in the mail within 15 business days.  Please plan ahead since the TSA will NOT accept paper IDs.  Here is a link to a Real ID Document Checklist from the secretary of state. https://realid.ilsos.gov/publications/pdf_publications/ex83.pdf

Lines have been extremely long so plan ahead and it is recommended you get to a facility early.  Here is a full list of facilities and hours.  http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/