Illinois is well on its way to complying with the federal REAL ID law, but there’s still a long way to go.
Secretary of State Press Secretary Dave Druker said that, of the 138 driver's service facilities, 55 have issued 75,000 Illinois residents the updated ID. The program began in southern Illinois and is moving north.
“The purpose of it is to test this — it is a new system — and to make sure that we don’t have any problems,” Druker said. “So far, it’s been functioning quite well.”
The updates require a central issuance process that includes facial recognition. There are still a few considerations left for the state to be fully compliant, such as new camera technology.
“That means reorganizing the facilities, getting equipment and that sort of thing, so that’s going to be a little bit of work, but there’s time,” Druker said.
Druker said that it’s expected to cost up to $30 million over a four-year period. Meanwhile, the rollout is expected to be fully up and running across the state by early August.
Before adjourning in June for the summer, state lawmakers passed measures to bring Illinois into compliance with federal REAL ID standards.
Druker said that, in addition to general approval with the federal standards, Illinois lawmakers have to change a few things to come into compliance.
“They don’t want states to have a situation where you can have both an ID card and a driver’s license,” he said. “So we needed legislation to change that. For senior citizens — people 65 and older — there’s no expiration date on the ID card. They don’t want that either. They want aminimum of an eight-year period that you’d have to come back and renew.”
The federal REAL ID Act was passed in 2005; more than half the country is not in compliance. States that oppose the mandate either claim the country does not need a national ID card or that the program is too costly.