Feds back off on Real ID
By Mark Fitton | Illinois News Network | Watchdog.org
SPRINGFIELD — The federal government is backing off its demand that Illinois and four other states bring their driver’s licenses and state ID cards to certain federal standards or see their residents face greater hassles at airports as soon as this spring.
On Jan. 8, the Department of Homeland Security announced there will be no security changes at airports for at least two years, with any changes beginning no sooner than Jan. 22, 2018, said Henry Haupt, spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.
That means Illinois-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will continue to be accepted as primary forms of identification to board commercial airplanes for domestic travel, Haupt said.
“If people have plans, I’d say go ahead and book that flight,” Haupt said. “Your Illinois driver’s license or ID card should get you right on the plane.”
Nearly 30 states are out of compliance and were operating under waivers that delayed implementation of certain standards specified in the Real ID Act, which was passed in 2005.
Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Washington are among those states, and they were notified in December that their requests for an additional extensions were denied. Come Jan. 10 they would have run out of time, DHS had previously announced.
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