Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding Illinoisans that the federal REAL ID mandate takes effect on Oct. 1, 2020.

For Illinois residents who fly domestically, effective Oct. 1, 2020, the federal government will require residents to use a valid U.S. passport or obtain a REAL ID from the Illinois Secretary of State's office.

It is important to know the following key points:

• Individuals will have a choice. They do not need a REAL ID if they have a valid U.S. passport, military ID or other TSA-acceptable form of identification. These documents will be accepted for domestic air travel. For a complete list of acceptable documents, visit: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

• Residents do not need a REAL ID if they do not fly domestically or visit secure federal facilities.

• However, if an individual wants to apply for a REAL ID, they need to come prepared with the necessary documents. Customers are encouraged to visit www.REALID.ilsos.gov and use the interactive document checklist to help ensure they bring the proper documents to the facility, making the process more efficient.

Customers are asked to be patient at facilities as the process to apply for a REAL ID takes longer due to the multiple documents required by the federal government.

Customers are also encouraged to take advantage of the many online services offered allowing patrons to conduct business from home.

Some online transactions include: obtaining a duplicate driver's license or ID card, renewing a vehicle registration, obtaining a driver record abstract or renewing a standard driver's license with the Safe Driver Renewal Program.

Illinois REAL ID cards are now a permanent option for Illinois residents.

Current Illinois driver's licenses or ID cards will be accepted for domestic air travel or to enter secure federal facilities until Oct. 1, 2020.

"Our goal is to continue raising awareness about REAL ID so Illinoisans can make an informed decision on whether they want to apply for a REAL ID or keep their current driver's license or ID card," said White. "We are asking Illinoisans who choose REAL ID to come prepared with the necessary documents and to please be patient at the facility because the process takes longer due to the multiple documents required by the federal government."

The REAL ID Act is a federal mandate by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that sets standards for state-issued DL/IDs by making identification documents more secure to combat fraud and identity theft.

REAL ID cards meet security requirements set by the federal government and have a gold star marking in the top right corner. Standard DL/IDs that do not comply with requirements of the federal REAL ID Act are marked with the phrase "Federal Limits Apply," as called for by the federal law.

Based on federal guidelines, to obtain an Illinois REAL ID card, all applicants -- including those who currently hold a standard Illinois DL/ID -- must provide:

• One document proving identity, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport, an employment authorization document, a permanent resident card or a foreign passport with an approved I-94 form.

It is important to note, name change documents, such as certified copies of a marriage certificate, will be required if the applicant presents a certified birth certificate with a name different from his/her current name. Multiple name change documents will be required if the applicant's name has changed multiple times.

• One document proving a Social Security Number (SSN), such as a SSN card, a W-2 or a pay stub with full SSN.

• Two documents proving residency with the applicant's correct name and address, like an utility bill, rental agreement, deed/title, bank statement or credit card statement.

• One document proving signature, such as a credit/debit card, a canceled check or a current Illinois DL/ID.

A full list of approved documents is available at REALID.ilsos.gov. Residents are encouraged to use the interactive checklist at https://realid.ilsos.gov/checklist.html to determine what documents are required to bring to the facility in order to apply for a REAL ID.

For more information on REAL ID, visit REALID.ilsos.gov. For more information on the REAL ID Act, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's website at dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.

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