If you've received a text message offering you the chance to update or "upgrade" your Illinois Driver's License to an Illinois Real ID, let's hope you deleted it and blocked the sender.

If you didn't, and instead decided to take the anonymous texter up on their offer, you may find yourself becoming the victim of identity theft.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul have joined forces to warn Illinoisans about text message scams related to upcoming federal Real ID requirements.

Real ID is an identification card for Illinoisans who plan on flying domestically. It was supposed to go into effect on October 1st of last year, but due to the pandemic, federal authorities pushed the deadline back one year to October 1st of this year. According to the Real ID webpage on the Illinois Secretary of State's website, you won't need an Illinois Real ID if:

  • 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.

Conversely, you will need an Illinois 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.

Both White and Raoul are warning you to be on the lookout for "unsolicited text messages claiming to be from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The text message urges the recipient to click on a link to update their driver’s license or state ID to comport with upcoming federal Real ID requirements."

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul:

The text is a scam, and recipients should not click on the link or provide any information. Visiting the website could place malware on the recipient’s device or trick them into disclosing sensitive personal information. The IDES never will request personal information via text message and will not contact Illinois residents about updating their driver’s licenses or state IDs.

For answers on the correct way to get your Illinois Real ID, click here.


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