The Illinois Secretary of State’s office says don’t believe everything you read about Illinois IDs not being enough to board a plane next year. The state has been denied another one-year exemption to the 2005 Real ID Act by the Department of Homeland Security. After being formally notified on January 10 the exemption is ending on January 10, followed by a 120-day advance notice period.
After that, Secretary of State’s office spokesman Dave Druker says you’ll be subject to some sort of additional screening before boarding a commercial flight, but unlike what some news reports have stated, an Illinois driver’s license or ID card will be accepted.
“That’s not true, they’ve told us that people will be able to get on,” Druker said. “We don’t know what the extra step is going to be, if it might be an extra line of security that they’d have to go through or people asking questions.”
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Druker says it’s not clear whether those additional screenings will be put in place after the 120-day period, suggesting no changes may be made before 2017.
As for getting the state in compliance with the Real ID Act, Druker says that’s up to the state legislature. Cost of implementing some parts of the act would cost between $50 and $60 million over several years, according to Druker.
If you want to avoid any additional screening measures that they may be put in place, Druker suggests bringing your passport, even for domestic flights, as that is a Real ID-compliant document.