Illinois Licenses and the Real ID Act

The Department of Homeland Security recently acted to extend the Real ID compliance deadline in Illinois until January 22, 2018. This means that your state driver’s license will still be a valid form of identification for boarding an aircraft until then.

While it has been over ten years since the Real ID act was signed into law, many states have resisted and are still resisting the unfunded federal mandate. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Real ID implementation in Illinois will cost $57.3 million dollars over its first four years.

Illinois was granted an extension until January 22, 2018 because of the Illinois’ Secretary of State’s office, and their numerous and ongoing improvements to the integrity and security of the process for issuing driver’s licenses and security features on the cards themselves. Yet, despite these increased efforts, Illinois was not given another extension past 2018. 

The Real ID Act was created after the 9/11 Commission recommended that the government tighten its standards on government-issued IDs. The Department of Homeland Security will give the public at least 120 days notice before any changes are made that would affect travel planning.

At this point, Illinois complies with about four-fifths of the federal law. In order to meet the rest of the guidelines, the state must meet the rest of the requirements. One such requirement includes issuing just one form of identification, an ID or a driver’s license, but not both. Another requirement requires the state to take a person’s picture first not last when issuing an ID. The federal guidelines also require more frequent expiration dates after age 65 in order to update information and pictures as a heightened security measure.

The changes that will be made to the ID and the state’s enactment of the federal guidelines of the Real ID program consist solely of security and protocol changes. There will be no physical change to the Illinois driver’s license.

More information about the upcoming changes and requirements can be found here. Should you have any further questions or concerns about the Real ID Act, please contact Representative Andersson’s District Office at (630) 457-5460.