It’s up to state lawmakers, not the Secretary of State’s office, to make sure Illinois driver’s licenses will be enough identification to get you through airport security. The state has been given two extensions to comply with the federal Real ID Act, requiring the state to verify birth certificates for state-issued IDs. The current extension runs out in October, but Secretary of State Jesse White says the first steps on solving the problem have to come from the legislature.
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“The Illinois General Assembly will have to vote…and send me directions as to what I should do with regard to that matter,” White said. “So we’re waiting for the Illinois General Assembly to address the issue, where…we’ll have to recertify individuals who live in our great state.”
The Illinois Senate blocked a 2011 bill which would have implemented the Real ID Act requirements.
White is still hopeful the federal government will grant Illinois another extension.If it doesn’t, he says his office will prepare to meet the requirements, but it won’t come cheap. He has estimated the additional data storage, staffing, and equipment needed could cost up to $150 million.
If no extension is granted, passengers would have to show a second form of ID issued by the federal government, such as a passport, or go through a longer security screening process at the airport to take a commercial flight.