While today all you need is an ordinary driver’s license to board a domestic flight in the United States, this will no longer be the case in a few months.
Effective May 3, 2023, anyone 18 years of age or older will be required to present a driver’s license or REAL ID-compliant ID card to fly domestically or visit a federal facility. Specified by a star and surrounding gold circle, REAL IDs are issued in all 50 states, with a deadline of approximately five months.
After multiple extensions caused by the pandemic and the deadline approaching, many are beginning to think about applying and wondering what is needed for the application process.
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).
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.