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Giannoulias to Illinoisans: "Get Real ID"

Tuesday, May 07, 2024 Posted by Illinoid Secretary of State
Secretary of State Urges Residents to Get REAL IDs as Federal Deadline Approaches

With the federal deadline exactly one year away, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias is encouraging Illinoisans to "Get Real" and obtain a REAL ID.

Giannoulias announced the launch of the office's "Get Real Illinois" campaign designed to raise awareness throughout the year.

After the May 7, 2025 deadline, domestic travelers 18 and older on commercial flights must have a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or state ID card. Travelers will still be able to board domestic flights with a U.S. passport, which is already REAL ID-compliant. A REAL ID will also be required to enter some federal facilities such as courthouses and military bases.

The deadline for obtaining the REAL ID has been pushed back multiple times, most recently in 2022 when the Department of Homeland Security cited the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state's ability to issue licenses.

"I strongly encourage residents who intend to fly to get their REAL ID as soon as possible to avoid future headaches," Giannoulias said. "Our DMV facilities stand ready to help customers get their new driver's licenses and identification cards before the federal deadline."

"TSA is looking forward to continued close collaboration with the Illinois Secretary of State's office to raise awareness and adoption of REAL ID throughout the state," said Jim Spriggs, TSA Illinois Federal Security Director. "Beginning May 8, 2024, TSA Officers will proactively provide information to passengers who do not present a REAL ID Compliant state-issued driver's license or identification. These efforts are in preparation of REAL ID enforcement, which will occur on May 7, 2025."

Passengers can visit tsa.gov for a full list of acceptable IDs for air travel.

Currently, just over 3 million Illinois residents - or 23.5 percent - hold a REAL ID driver's license or state ID.

The REAL ID law was passed by Congress in 2005 based on a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission Report. The Department of Homeland Security established the standards that state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards must meet to increase security measures for airports and federal facilities.

Illinois began offering REAL IDs in 2019. Illinois driver's licenses and ID cards that are REAL ID-compliant include a gold circle with a white star in the top right-hand corner of the card.

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Giannoulias to Illinoisans: "Get Real ID"