No more immediate driver’s licenses or IDs issued in Illinois

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Illinois license photo from Illinois Secretary of State's Office website

Illinois applicants will no longer get their permanent driver’s licenses and ID cards right away, as the state changes to a background checking system to comply with federal REAL ID requirements.

That means anyone hoping to get an Illinois driver’s license or ID card will, instead, get a temporary paper driver’s license or ID, which is valid for 45 days.  They’ll punch a hole in your old license before giving it back to you, and the combination of that old license and the temporary, paper ID is enough identification to get you through airport security, according to a statement from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.

While you wait, your information is sent to a centralized facility in Illinois for fraud checks.

“After fraud checks have been conducted to ensure the applicant’s identity, a higher quality, more secure DL/ID will be printed and sent via U.S. mail within 15 business days to the applicant’s address,” the statement said.

That “central issuance” process provides better identity theft prevention by investigating possible fraud before the license or ID is issued, the statement said.  Beginning in late June, driver’s license facilities across Illinois will implement the central issuance procedures; it will take until the end of July to get central issuance at all of the driver’s license facilities in Illinois.

Anyone renewing via the state’s “Safe Driver Renewal” program as of May 17 can still renew online as usual; those people will receive the new license, with upgraded security features, by mail.

Illinois’ last application for another extension, to comply with the REAL ID act, was denied.   Iowa is already compliant with the REAL ID requirements.

“Starting January 22, 2018, passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is still not compliant with the REAL ID Act (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight,” said a January 8, 2016 statement from the Department of Homeland Security.

“Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel,” the statement said.