Friday, January 1, 2016

Illinois - You Are Grounded

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Real ID Deadline Approaching

As 2016 begins, the clock is running out for the State of Illinois to comply with "Real ID" law requirements for state issued drivers licenses. Back in 2005, a federal law was enacted requiring states to comply with various security measures to state ID and drivers license issuance procedures. Illinois applied for an extension, which runs out January 10, 2016.

The Department of Homeland Security could give notice (of at least 120 days) to the public that it would no longer accept the Illinois IDs. If that were done, Illinois could be "grounded" unless alternate procedures, which might include using a U.S. Passport for security screening, were put in place at airports across the country. Of course passports have always been accepted, but not everyone has a valid passport or typically carries them for domestic trips.

Thanks to the Identity Project for sharing the following:
"Don't be misled by TSA threats: You don't have to show *any* ID to fly, & that won't change:"

UPDATED: Jan. 9, 2016

The Department of Homeland Security has given another reprieve to states, such as Illinois, that haven't met the REALID requirements.   The facts on : You can use your driver’s license from ANY state/territory to fly until Jan 2018. More at

On January 22, 2018,  unless granted another extension, residents of Illinois (and any other non-compliant states) will be back in this same situation where they'll need to use an alternate form of identification other than a state Drivers License.   (Note: technically NO ID is required to fly as mentioned above).


  • Effective January 22, 2018, if you have a driver’s license or identification card issued by a state that does not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act, unless that state has been granted an extension, you must present an alternative form of identification acceptable to TSA in order to board a commercial domestic flight.
  • Starting October 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel.
Please continue to consult the DHS website to monitor changes in requirements for your state.   

We always recommend our guests travel with passports, even on closed-looped cruises, where they aren't technically required.   If you have a passport for those international vacations, it wouldn't be an issue should they also be required for domestic travel.

Apply for a Passport

Apply for a U.S. Passport
Besides Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, and Washington are states that haven't yet adopted the Real ID specifications.  DHS has not announced when it might no longer accept those IDs.

If you are planning on traveling by air in 2016 or later, we would recommend obtaining a U.S. passport now before there's a mad rush to obtain one or be grounded (or perhaps subject to additional screening procedures).
Federal Building Entrance

One thing for certain, the law also applies to entrance to certain Federal buildings, so after January 10th Illinois IDs will not be valid for entrance to those buildings. This is another reason for obtaining a passport.

More information act can be obtained at the following link:

Real ID Public FAQs | Homeland Security

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