Residents have more time to obtain the REAL ID, officials say to prepare beforehand

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - If you already have the REAL ID then you are good to go. But if you haven’t you now have more time to get yours at a local driver’s license facility. However for some residents, they are having trouble getting theirs and this has been a pattern for some since the ID’s were first announced.

When Rockford resident Scott Garwick went to the DMV with all of the right paperwork, he thought he’d automatically be receiving a REAL ID. However, he didn’t see any signage about the REAL ID and knew something was wrong.

“I didn’t specifically say that I needed a REAL ID,” Garwick said. “I just kind of figured we’d all receive one because this is what we’re doing now. I made it through the line and it was my turn. The employee called me up and I told her I was wanting to get my driver’s license renewed. She didn’t ask for any of the documents that I had with me, I felt that was kind of odd.”

Scott isn’t alone on this. We asked on the 23 WIFR Facebook page who had received their REAL ID yet. The response has 30 percent saying they received the REAL ID with no problems, 50 percent saying they tried but had some trouble along the way. The remaining 20 percent haven’t even tried. 23 News spoke with the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office who says this extension was greatly needed because of COVID-19 and that driver’s license facilities are now more busy than ever.

Courtesy: Illinois Secretary of State
Courtesy: Illinois Secretary of State(WIFR)

“It’s important to highlight that with the extension, extending the deadline to May 3, 2023, people don’t necessarily have to rush out to apply for a REAL ID,” said Henry Haupt from Jesse White’s office.

The current license or ID Card will be accepted for domestic air travel until that date. To make the process much easier, Haupt sayd determine if you need the ID and prepare.

“If you were someone who wanted to apply for a REAL ID, our customer staff will ask you if you have all of the documents needed,” Haupt said. “The last thing our public service representatives ever want to do is send someone home to get an additional document.”

At this link, it will take you to the Secretary of State’s REAL ID website where you can go through the process of applying. Several documents are needed for this and the link will take you through one-by-one everything you need. In the Stateline, you can bring your documents to most driver’s license facility locations except the express locations on Auburn Street in Rockford and in Roscoe.

Until the deadline, current ID’s and driver’s licenses will continue to be accepted on domestic flights and to enter a military base or secure federal facility. Afterwards, you will need a REAL ID or a government-issued passport for air travel. Officials say to allow some extra time at the DMV and that Tuesdays are the busiest days.

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