How to know if you need a ‘REAL ID’ in place of your current Illinois ID

CHICAGO, Illinois -- Illinois is now complying with the federal "REAL ID" Act.

Starting in October of 2020, Illinois residents won't be able to use their current state IDs and driver's licenses to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities.

Secretary of State Jesse White made the announcement Wednesday, March 27.  He said the new "REAL IDs" will be marked with a gold star in the corner.  They will cost the same as current licenses, but it could take longer to get.

"It's up to them if they want the new card, then they'll have to do all those requirements," said White. "Lot of times people can use their passports and never come to the Secretary of State's office to get this documentation with a star on it."

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to make identification cards more secure.

Here's how to know whether you need a "REAL ID":


  • You have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; or
  • You do not use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or
  • You do not visit military bases; or
  • You do not visit secure federal facilities.
You NEED a REAL ID if:

  • You do not have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; AND
  • You use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or
  • You visit military bases; or
  • You visit secure federal facilities.

For more information on Illinois REAL IDs, click here.

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