REAL ID Resources

Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require you to use a valid U.S. passport or obtain the new Illinois REAL ID to fly domestically.

The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office expects increased volume to continue over the next 12 months as the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline set by the federal government approaches. SOS reports they will do everything within their ability to serve Illinoisans who want to apply for a REAL ID prior to the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline.

In fact, the SOS’ office in the process of hiring additional employees, as well as expanding facility hours.

While this action will help address the increased volume, they are asking the public to understand their options and come to the facility prepared if they want a REAL ID. They are highlighting the following points:

You do not need a REAL ID if you have a valid U.S. passport, military ID or other TSA-accept-able form of identification. These documents will be accepted for domestic air travel. For a complete list of acceptable documents please visit:

You also do not need a REAL ID if you do not fly domestically or visit secure federal facilities.

However, if you want to apply for a REAL ID, please come prepared with the necessary documents.

Customers are encouraged to visit the Secretary of State’s website at and use the interactive document checklist to help ensure they bring the proper documents to the facility. This will help speed up the process for everyone.

The SOS asks customers to please be patient at facilities as the process to apply for a REAL ID takes longer at the facility due to the multiple documents required by the federal government.

Customers are also encouraged to take advantage of the many services the SOS office offers online. If customers can conduct business from home, there is no need for them to visit a facility. Some online trans-actions include: obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card, renewing a vehicle registration, obtaining a driver record abstract or renewing a standard driver’s license with the Safe Driver Renewal Program.

Illinois REAL ID cards are now a permanent option for Illinois residents.

Below are links to some documents to help customers:

REAL ID Document Checklist:

Name Change Pamphlet:


Also, please be aware that Secretary of State facility staff may need to manage the lines to ensure they serve those that are already in line. This means that depending on the volume of customers and the time of day, newly arriving customers may be instructed to come back another day before they get in line.