Breaking down REAL IDs

State News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Confusion persists as the deadline to get a REAL ID looms.

State officials are now sending reminder after reminder, though people still wonder why they need one. The federal government created the REAL ID guidelines in 2005, but for many, it seems like requirements were only just made, and confusion remains.

Another question neighbors have: How do we get a REAL ID?

It’s true that if you want to fly or visit federally secure buildings, you will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification starting Oct. 1, 2020. But that doesn’t mean you need a REAL ID; a passport or military ID qualifies.

First, make sure you have the right paperwork. You’ll need to bring one of the documents on your screen to your driver’s license office. You’ll also need to bring along proof of your social security number, two documents showing proof of address, and finally a document with your legal signature.

Federal officials say the ultimate goal is to standardize identification and make the country safer.

For more information, visit

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