lllinois seeking one more Real ID extension

State officials said last week they are in the process of seeking another extension to comply with the federal Real ID act, the last one they believe will be necessary before Illinois can comply with the law.

Nathan Maddox, senior legal adviser to Secretary of State Jesse White, said the office expects to submit the request to the Department of Homeland Security later this month.

“In the next few weeks, we will be applying for an extension of time to come into compliance until October of 2018,” Maddox said. “We have every reason to believe we will be granted that extension. We work closely with DHS on a regular basis.”

Illinois is operating under an extension from DHS that carries the state through Oct. 10. Maddox said he expects this latest extension will be the last the state will need. According to the Department of Homeland Security website, 24 states are operating under extensions to the Real ID act. The other 26 states are in compliance.

“By the time period that extension expires, we expect to be filing a request for certification as being fully Real ID compliant,” Maddox said. “We expect that certification to come through by the end of 2018. We will be issuing compliant cards beginning in January 2019.”

Securing the extension is important so that Illinois residents can continue boarding flights and entering federal facilities without the upgraded drivers licenses or identification cards required under the federal law. The Homeland Security website says that beginning Jan. 22, 2018, passengers will need to provide an alternative form of identification to board planes unless they have a Real ID compliant drivers license or unless the state issuing the license has been given an extension.

Beginning in October 2020, air travelers will need a Real ID compliant license to get on a flight.


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