Illinois REAL ID deadline extended to May 2023

REAL ID card (Illinois Secretary of State)

Current Illinois driver's licenses and ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports after the Department of Homeland Security delayed the requirement of a REAL ID due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White praised DHS for the decision to extend the federal deadline to May 3, 2023, 19 months after the previous deadline of Oct. 1.

"I applaud the decision by DHS to extend the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023 – 19 months past the old deadline of Oct. 1, 2021," said White. "This is the proper and necessary action in response to the pandemic."


White and other leaders had called on DHS to extend the deadline due to the impact the virus is having on citizens and license-issuing facilities around the country.

The licenses that are compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 have a small gold circle with a white star in the middle. Those applying for a REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses need to show additional paperwork to prove their identity.

Illinois residents over 18 who fly or visit military bases will need a REAL ID-compliant document. Along with the new drivers' licenses, passports can also be used.

White also announced his office has extended expiration dates on all driver's license and ID cards until Aug. 1, 2021. The extension does not apply to commercial driver's licenses (CDL) or CDL learner's permits.

Eligibile residents can visit for online services such as purchasing license plate stickers, obtaining duplicate driver’s licenses or ID cards, and renewing standard driver’s licenses or ID cards.

For more information on obtaining a REAL ID, click here.