Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the federal REAL ID deadline an additional two years, from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025. With this extension, current standard Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports for domestic air travel until May 7, 2025.
Illinoisans interested in applying for a REAL ID are encouraged to visit REALID.ilsos.gov and use the interactive document checklist. This checklist is designed to help ensure REAL ID applicants gather all the documents required by the federal government to obtain a REAL ID before visiting a Driver Services facility. First-time REAL ID applicants are required by DHS to visit a Driver Services facility in person.
Not everyone needs a REAL ID, and in Illinois, the Secretary of State’s office gives Illinoisans a choice. Illinoisans who do not fly domestically do not necessarily need a REAL ID. Additionally, a valid U.S. passport is a compliant REAL ID document; therefore, those with valid U.S. passports do not necessarily need a REAL ID.
As of Dec. 1, 2022, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office has issued more than 3 million REAL IDs.