Illinois Reminds Residents That There's No Rush To Apply, Receive REAL IDs

Bernie Tafoya
November 13, 2019 - 11:56 am

A REAL ID illustration (Illinois Secretary of State)

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The State of Illinois said hundreds of thousands of people have received REAL ID driver’s licenses already, and officials remind people there is no rush to get one.

Illinois Secretary of State spokesman Dave Drucker said that in the first six months REAL IDs have been available, 435,000 Illinois residents have applied for and received them.

“The biggest facility, I think I believe I mentioned before was the Thompson Center. We’ve had 23,000 people who’ve gotten REAL IDs there. Schaumburg is next at 20,000 followed by Lombard at 19,500,” said Drucker, who adds the next highest is Deerfield with more than 15,000 REAL IDs issued.

On the Secretary of State website, there’s a warning that wait times at driver’s services facilities have increased due to demand for REAL IDs.

The biggest demand so far was last month, Drucker said, with 100,000 REAL IDs issued.

Starting in October of next year, REAL ID driver’s licenses will be needed for all flights, including domestic flights. Passengers who do not have REAL IDs can opt to use their passports, instead. But spokesman Dave Drucker said there’s no rush to get a REAL ID and for those who never fly, there is no need for a REAL ID. 

As for Drucker, he plans to use his passport, at least for the first year REAL IDs are required for flights. 

“My passport expires in 2026. I have a driver’s license that expires in 2021. So, even if I was flying to St. Louis from Chicago, I would use the passport for that and then I’ll come in and get a REAL ID in 2021,” he said.