Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias sounded the alarm Tuesday  that the long-talked about and frequently delayed REAL ID deadline is now one year away.

“I know that many of you will view the deadline with skepticism and rightfully so. The law which was enacted in 2005 and was meant to take effect in 2008 has been extended multiple times,” he said.

After May 7, 2025, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will no longer accept identification that does not meet the standards established in the REAL ID Act. Note, a valid passport or passport card will also be accepted by the TSA.

REAL ID cards look like driver’s licenses but contain a gold star, in addition to using technology that makes them more difficult to forge.

The Secretary of State says if you need to get a REAL ID, you should be proactive about it.

To obtain a REAL ID, residents must visit a Secretary of State Drivers Service facility with the correct documentation.

What documentation do you need for a REAL ID?

According to the Illinois Secretary of State, a person must provide:

Proof of identity. This can include: U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport, an employment authorization document, a permanent resident card or a foreign passport with an approved I-94 form.

Proof of full Social Security number. This can include a SSN card, a W-2 or a pay stub with full SSN.)

Two current residency documents with the applicant’s name. Examples include a utility bill, rental agreement, deed/title or a bank statement

Proof of signature. Examples include A credit/debit card, canceled check or current Illinois 

A full checklist can be found on the Illinois Secretary of State‘s website.

Deadline approaching for Illinois residents to get a REAL ID

How do you get a REAL ID?

Residents have the option to make an appointment at one of 30 appointment facilities. You can make an appointment at this website.

Residents can also visit a walk-in facility and those facilities can be found here.