Explaining the Real ID

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  • Illinois residents now have the chance to apply for their real ID cards, which will make Illinois ID’s compliant with the Real ID Act of 2005. This was enacted in the wake of 9/11 and set strict federal standards that ID’s would have to comply with. However, it has taken some time for states to be able to complete the process, and we’re nearing the finish line. The newer ID’s can be requested now that it’s the first week of April and you must have one to be able to get on a plane by October 2020. Here is a good explanation of what a Real ID is, what it looks like, it’s purpose, etc… The acts aim was at decreasing terrorism by basically making it harder and more complicated to access domestic flights. Under the new act, state agencies like the DMV require more paperwork when considering the proof of a person’s residency and social security number. There is also new technology in the ID’s that will be supposedly make them harder to counterfeit. To signify compliance, the Real ID’s will have a gold or black star on the front. Though there are a few states,(not Illinois) that give compliant licenses without the star. It’s important to note, that you don’t need a Real ID if you’re not going to be flying domestically. It is for accessing federal facilities like airports. Just remember the date 10/1/20 as the marker for when you need to present a Real ID to access a domestic flight, although a few states were granted extensions.(Illinois is not one of them) A Real ID cannot be used as a substitute for a passport when attempting to access international flights. A few other things the new ID’s won’t affect are things like Federal benefits, voting, being licensed to drive, accessing federal facilities that do not require Real ID’s, accessing hospitals, law enforcement and constitutionally protected activities such as access to court proceedings. WQUAD 8 interviewed Illinois Deputy Press Secretary Henry Haupt who explained that the public would have to be patient when applying. “We are asking people to please be patient,” Haupt said. “We want to level with the public so they understand that the application process for a REAL ID takes longer than the standard driver’s license or ID card because more documents are required by the federal government.” The article notes that “Residents who want to switch to the new IDs will need to bring along proof of identity and lawful presence, proof of social security number, two forms of residency documents, and proof of signature, which can be provided through a current license or ID card.”

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