If you live in one of the many states that have NOT complied with the Real ID Act, you have probably been listening to a lot of back and forth about whether or not your state ID or driver’s license will be considered sufficient ID for domestic travel. There have been a lot of threats and promises made this year, ultimately resulting in extensions to these noncompliant states.
The federal government is giving a handful of states a two-year reprieve from enforcement of a law (The Real ID Act) that would have banned commercial air travelers who didn’t have a new federally approved identification. IL is one of these states, and in response IL has finally put an action plan in place to become compliant.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White unveiled major upgrades to the design and security features of state driver’s licenses and identification cards on May 17. These new security features will effect the process to obtain a driver’s license or state ID for IL residents moving forward.
By the end of July 2016, when you go to the DMV for your driver’s license or State ID, you will be issued a temporary paper card with a photo printed on it rather than the normal plastic ID you are used to today. You will have this paper ID for about 45 days before being issued the new and improved ID.
Beginning this week, your information will be sent away to a separate facility for fraud checks, identity verification, and processing. New cards will be made with anti-counterfeiting security that “over-the-counter technology simply cannot produce,” according to a release from the Secretary of State. Gradually the state will roll out the newly designed card which will look different, and have Real ID Act compliant features. Fees will remain the same.
“The upgraded driver’s license and ID card contain a variety of enhanced security features that take advantage of new developments in technology,” White said. “Becoming REAL ID compliant is a step-by-step process, and with these changes Illinois is now 84 percent compliant with the federal mandate.”
For more information, you can check out the IL Secretary of State website, and stay current with the Real ID Act changes that might affect you on the Homeland Security website. And of course, to avoid the problem all together, you can always get a passport or a passport card with Swift- both will be sufficient for domestic travel regardless of how your state reacts to the demands to become compliant with the Real ID Act.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.