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Real ID Vs State ID & Driver’s License

Starting October 1, 2020, Illinois residents will be required to have a ReaL ID in order to board domestic flights. The new requirement is an effort by Illinois to combat fraud and increase security. The new requirement does not make your driver’s license or state ID obsolete, so there is no need to rush into the DMV. This post will lay out the differences between the Real ID and standard issue ID. 


Before You Head To The DMV

Real ID

As stated before, the new requirement for domestic flights does not mean your driver’s license useless. Valid licenses and state IDs will still be accepted for everything except domestic flights. Yes, the Real ID may be used as a driver’s license so you don’t have to carry multiples forms of identification. A valid passport will still be accepted as well. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt to get it next time you need to renew your license Those who have a driver’s license or state IDs that will expire after October 2020 you can apply for a correction. The correction will result in a valid Real ID bearing the same expiration date as your former ID. However, if you recently renewed your ID, the same option is available to you, with both costing $5. Below is a helpful guide put together by the Sec. of State’s office. 

Real ID NOT Needed If You :

  • do not use airplanes to fly domestically
  • have a valid U.S. passport or passport card
  • do not visit military bases
  • do not visit secure federal facilities.

Real ID Needed if:

Real ID
  • You do not have a valid U.S. passport or passport card for domestic flights
  • You use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation
  • You’re visiting military bases 
  • You visit secure federal facilities.

Get In Before The Deadline

While the new requirement may present complications or annoyance for some, there is still plenty of time to get one. The process works similar to the driver’s license process, which means you will need plenty of documentation. Although you likely provided documents for your license or state ID, federal law requires you to submit the same documentation again. The documents needed and an example of each document will be provided below.

Documentation Needed

Before issuing a Real ID, the DMV needs proof of identity, your full social security number, and proof of residency. To prove identity, an Illinois resident can use a valid driver’s license, a copy of a birth certificate, passport or similar documents. As for providing your full social security number, Illinois residents may use a social security card, W-2, pay-stub/deposit with SSN on it. Proof of residency can come in the form of a bank statement, credit card statement, utility bills, and more. Finally, you will need to provide proof of your signature, which you can do by providing official documents bearing your signature. Examples of such documentation include a driver’s license, state ID, SSC, court order, mortgage statement and more. Additionally, it costs the same as a driver’s license, so you would not be paying more for it. 

The Process

If you plan on flying domestically, visiting a military base, or secured government building, you should apply and obtain your real ID before October 2020. The process works similarly to a driver’s license or State ID issuing. You must be physically present at a DMV, take your photo, required exams, and provide documents as proof of identity and residency. Once you satisfy those requirements, you will receive a temporary paper ID, however, that won’t be accepted by TSA or federal agents when boarding flights. After the Sec. of State’s office verifies your documents, they will mail it to you within 15 business days. 


Take Away Points

Real ID
  • Starting October 1st, 2020 Illinois residents will require residents to have the Real ID in order to fly domestically.
  • You will need to provide documents to prove identity, social security, and residency.
  • Recently renewed their ID, or have an ID expiring after October 2020 may apply for a $5 correction fee.

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