A one-year extension to the REAL ID enforcement deadline by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary was announced by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White on Thursday, March 26th.
The recent coronavirus outbreak, as well as the impact the virus was having on the general public and driver's license and ID card issuing agencies nationwide, led state and business leaders from across the country, including Secretary White, to call on the Department of Homeland Security to extend the October 2020 deadline. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf cited circumstances relating to the COVID-19 pandemic when announcing his decision to extend the REAL ID enforcement deadline to October 1, 2021.
"The decision to extend the REAL ID deadline to October 1, 2021 - a year past the old deadline - is the proper and necessary action during this time of uncertainty and crisis," said White.
READ 'Acting Secretary's Statement'
Current Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities until October 1, 2021. Once Illinois Driver Services facilities reopen, it is suggested 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 wanting a REAL ID and have a driver’s license or ID card that expires after October 1, 2021, a valid U.S. passport or other TSA-acceptable documents can be used to fly domestically until the renewal of the current card is necessary.