More than 375,000 obtain new state Real IDs

Real IDs or a passport will be required to board domestic flights beginning in October 2020.

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An example of an Illinois Real ID driver’s license

Illinois REAL ID driver’s licenses will feature a gold star in the upper right corner. They’re available at Secretary of State facilities.


More than 375,000 Illinois residents have obtained specially marked state IDs bearing a gold star in the corner that, beginning next October, will be the only form of state ID accepted to board domestic flights.

The number represents steady progress since the specially marked state identification cards and driver’s licenses became available in March, according to Dave Druker, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

The standard issued state IDs most people have in their wallets will no longer be accepted by airport security as of Oct. 1, 2020.

Why the hassle?

The change is part of the Real ID Act, a federal law aimed at increasing security measures to counter identification fraud.

Illinois will continue to issue standard ID cards and driver’s licenses, but they will not get you through airport security beginning Oct. 1, 2020.

So there’s still plenty of time to get a new card.

It’s also important to note that in lieu of using a state issued ID with a gold star that a passport can always be used to board domestic flights instead. A military ID can be used as well.

The same Real ID rules will also kick in at that time for entering secure federal buildings — such as the Dirksen Federal Building in the Loop.

If you don’t fly or enter federal buildings, then don’t worry about updating your ID, the standard state ID or driver’s license will serve you fine.

Residents seeking the new Real ID cards will have to bring a number of personal documents into any of the Secretary of State’s facilities — except ones offering express services — to obtain a new driver’s license or ID card that comply with the new law.

The REAL ID marked cards will cost the same as the standard issued cards — $20 for an ID card and $30 for a driver’s license, but they cannot be renewed by mail.

The documents are basically the same ones needed to get a driver’s license for the first time, Druker said.

• Proof of identity, such as a birth certificate or passport.

• Proof of your full Social Security number; a pay stub will do.

• Two items proving residency, such as a utility bill.

• Proof of signature; a canceled check works.

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