Illinois residents have more time to comply with REAL ID requirements

Department of Homeland Security extends deadline to May 2023

Illinois residents don’t have to scramble to get their REAL ID this year, Secretary of State Jesse White said in a news release.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is extending the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023 – 19 months past the original deadline of Oct. 1, 2021. After the deadline, a REAL ID card will be required to access federal facilities, board commercial aircraft and enter nuclear power plants.

With the extended federal deadline, current Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports this year through the beginning of 2023.

“I applaud the decision by DHS to extend the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023,” White said in a news release. “This is the proper and necessary action in response to the pandemic.”

The Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the impact the virus is having on driver’s license and ID card-issuing agencies nationwide. White was among other state and business leaders around the country who called for an extension during the pandemic.

For other Illinois driver services, White has expanded online services at to reduce the number of customers entering Secretary of State facilities during the pandemic. Online transaction options include purchasing license plate stickers, obtaining duplicate driver’s licenses or ID cards and renewing standard driver’s licenses or ID cards for those who are eligible.

Driver’s license and ID card expiration dates have been extended until Aug 1, 2021. This extension does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses and CDL learner’s permits.