Thursday marked a critical deadline for Illinois drivers, but it might not be the deadline they thought.
December 1 marked the date when drivers who put off renewing their license or ID card during the pandemic should finally renew them. Another deadline, that of REAL ID, is approaching.
In just over five months, a regular driver’s license will no longer allow US residents to fly domestically, and Illinois residents will need to obtain a new REAL ID-compliant ID.
After several pandemic-induced extensions of deadlines, anyone 18 and older will be required to present a driver’s license or REAL ID-compliant ID card to fly domestically or visit a federal facility – beginning on May 3. Designated by a star and surrounding a golden circle, REAL IDs are issued in all 50 states.
Unlike regular driving licenses, REAL IDs cannot currently be applied for online.
To apply for a REAL ID, Illinois residents must visit a State Department of Driver Services facility and provide documentation proving their identity, Social Security number, written signature, and two documents proving residency .
The following documents are acceptable to prove identity:
- Birth certificate
- American passport
- Foreign passport with U.S. visa affixed with approved Form I-94 document
- Consular report of birth abroad
- Citizenship certificate
- Naturalization certificate
- Employment authorization document
- Permanent resident card
- REAL ID
To provide proof of their Social Security number, residents can show their Social Security card or a W-2. A payslip with a social security number will also be accepted.
Illinois residents will also need to show at least two proofs of residency. These may include the following: bank statement, canceled check, school transcript, credit card statement, mortgage or rental agreement, insurance policy, pay stub, retirement statement, newsletter, utility bill public and voter card.
After providing these documents, residents will receive a temporary paper ID at the facility (although residents are reminded that the TSA will NOT accept paper ID) and receive their new ID. identity by post within 15 working days.
For proof of signature, residents may present a credit or debit card, void check, valid Illinois driver’s license or ID card, court order, foreign passport, ID card, health insurance or a US military ID card.
For a complete list of acceptable documents, click here.
A REAL ID card costs the same as a driver’s license ($30) or ID card ($20).
Illinois residents can use an interactive checklist to ensure they have the necessary documents to apply.
Those with a valid US passport or passport card will not need to obtain a REAL ID, as these are also acceptable forms of identification for boarding domestic transportation and visiting federal facilities.