Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced on March 26 that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the federal REAL ID deadline an additional year to Oct. 1, 2021. DHS cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact the virus is having on the general public and driver’s license and ID card-issuing agencies nationwide. Earlier this month, White, along with other state and business leaders from around the country, called on DHS to extend the REAL ID deadline.
Current Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities until Oct. 1, 2021. Once driver services facilities reopen, White is suggesting that people who want a REAL ID wait until their current driver’s license or ID card is about to expire before visiting a facility to apply for a REAL ID. For those whose driver’s license or ID card expires after Oct. 1, 2021, and want a REAL ID, they can use their valid U.S. passport or other TSA-acceptable documents to fly domestically until they must renew their current card.
For more on the REAL ID deadline extension, please see this week’s print edition.