Since they initially informed us of the deadline, it has been several years since we have definitely, positively had to have a Real ID in order to fly in the US.
Then, in order to give everyone additional time to finish the procedure, the date was postponed. The date was then repeatedly delayed due to COVID.
Why is the standard driver’s license being replaced by Real ID for air travel?
The Real ID Act was passed more than 18 years ago, and it was implemented to provide a federal standard for identification, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
According to DHS.gov, “The 9/11 Commission recommended that the federal government “establish standards for the issue of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses,” and Congress followed on that proposal in 2005 with the passage of the REAL ID Act. The Act established minimum security requirements for license production and issuance and forbids some federal agencies from accepting for specific purposes driver’s licenses and identity cards from states that do not adhere to the Act’s minimum requirements.”
When must I obtain my Illinois Real ID before I can no longer fly?
As of May 7, 2025, if you don’t have a current U.S. passport, you’ll require a Real ID to board domestic flights, gain entry to restricted federal facilities, and enter military bases.
You won’t require a Real ID if you don’t fly, visit military bases, or attempt to enter restricted government facilities.
In Illinois, where can I obtain a Real ID?
According to the Illinois Secretary of State, there are 5 procedures required to obtain an Illinois Real ID.
- Visit an Illinois Secretary of State facility to have your photo taken and complete any required exams. CLICK HERE to find the facility nearest to you.
- Provide proof of identity. A U.S. Passport, certified U.S. birth certificate, and permanent resident card are among the items that will be accepted.
- Proof of Social Security number (card, pay stub, W-2)
- Two current residency documents (utility bill, rental agreement)
- Proof of signature (credit/debit card, canceled check, current Illinois driver’s license)
If all of your paperwork is in order, you will be given a temporary ID at the facility, and a permanent Real ID will be mailed to you within 15 days, according to the Illinois Secretary of State.