Illinois’ REAL ID Deadline Is Just 6 Months Away
It's perfectly understandable that you may have forgotten about Illinois' REAL ID while dealing with a more than a year of pandemic-related issues. I'm just here to remind you that Federal enforcement of REAL ID for commercial domestic air travel starts in just six months.
We were already supposed to be using the Illinois REAL ID by now (October of 2020), but the aforementioned pandemic, looking for more things to screw up or delay, prompted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID deadline an additional year to October 1st, 2021. Current Illinois driver's licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases, and at secure federal facilities until that date.
If you're wondering what you need to do make yourself compliant, you should probably first ask yourself if you have any plans to fly domestically, visit military bases, or visit secure federal facilities. If you don't, then you really have no need for a REAL ID. Plus, if you already have a valid U.S. Passport you won't need REAL ID.
Conversely, if you answered yes to the above questions, the Illinois Secretary of State's office says you should start getting your documentation together so you won't miss out on the deadline. They've put together a cyber-checklist that you can access that will tell you exactly what information is required for applying to get an Illinois REAL ID.
By the way, it's not just we Illinoisans that have to get a REAL ID if we want to fly domestically, etc. The REAL ID is a requirement for all 50 states and assorted territories.