The Illinois Secretary of State office announced recently that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given Illinois residents an additional two years to obtain the federal REAL ID. The original deadline to acquire a REAL ID was set for May 3, 2023. This new extension means that Illinoisans with a current standard Illinois driver’s license or ID card can domestically travel in the U.S. until the new May 7, 2025, deadline.
Illinois residents who have not yet obtained a REAL ID are encouraged to view the Illinois Secretary of State office’s online interactive document checklist at REALID.ilsos.gov. The checklist will help make it easier for Illinoisians to know what paperwork they need to bring with them to their local Driver Services facility. All first-time applicants must make an in-person appointment.
A REAL ID is not required for everyone and is only necessary to fly within the country. Individuals with a valid U.S. passport also meet the requirements for domestic air travel.