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DHS pushes back REAL ID deadline

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DHS pushes back REAL ID deadline

Here’s what to know if you live in Illinois.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the REAL ID implementation date to May 3, 2023.

REAL ID is part of an effort to standardize federal security. For domestic travel, it can replace a passport or passport card as a form of identification.

The deadline for travelers to have a form of REAL ID-compliant identification was originally Oct. 2021. But the DHS pushed the deadline back by 19 months due to the pandemic’s impact on “states’ ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards, with many driver’s licensing agencies still operating at limited capacity,” according to an April statement.

Beginning in May 2023, some domestic travelers may need to present a REAL ID.

This deadline does apply to Illinoisans, but the state is providing residents with the option to either obtain a REAL ID card or to keep a standard card.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White issued a statement on the DHS extension, calling it “the proper and necessary action in response to the pandemic.” White is among several Secretaries of state to have called on the DHS for an extension.

According to the statement, current Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports and secure federal facilities until May 3, 2023. White has encouraged the public to take advantage of online resources, namely his office’s website. Many transactions, including driver’s license renewal, can be conducted online.

Federal agencies, including DHS and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will only accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards if they were issued by a REAL ID compliant state in accordance with the REAL ID security standards. REAL ID cards are distinguishable by a star marking intended to prevent tampering or replication.

Not everyone is required to have a REAL ID. Either a domestic passport or a REAL ID — not both — will be required to fly domestically as of the May 3, 2023 deadline. Those who use airplanes to travel domestically and do not have a U.S. passport or passport card will be required to have a REAL ID. Those who do not use airplanes for domestic travel or who have a U.S. passport or passport card do not need a REAL ID.

A complete list of details describing REAL ID applicability can be found at the Illinois Secretary of State’s website.

If you have any questions regarding how the DHS has affected you and your status in Illinois, do not hesitate tor each out to us.

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