Ready for the REAL ID?

By  | 

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Starting Oct. 1, 2020, all travelers flying domestically within the United States will need a REAL ID to get through TSA security checkpoints inside airports.

For many Stateline residents, it's time consider if you need one or not. Some have already gotten their ID and the process was not an easy one.

Janet Califf had no idea at the beginning about the REAL ID. When she received paperwork to renew her drivers license, the pamphlets she received were very confusing. She says, "It had a lot of information on it."

According to a recent survey​ conducted by the U.S. Travel Association, it shows that the vast majority of Americans do not have or are confused about the REAL ID drivers licenses. According to the survey, 57% of Americans are unaware of the REAL ID requirement, 7 out of 10 Americans are unsure if their current ID is compliant and nearly 40% don't have a valid U.S. Passport or alternate form of ID.

The Illinois Secretary of State Office has a website​ dedicated for the REAL ID including the pamphlet, information about the ID and where you can get one. For Stateline residents, you can go to every location except the Rockford Auburn Street and Roscoe locations to get the REAL ID.

Dave Druker from the Illinois Secretary of State office says that not everyone needs the ID and to know your options before you go. He says, "You don't need to rush. Take your time and determine if you need it, I can't emphasize that enough." He also mentioned that once you go to the DMV, be sure to have all of the correct paperwork.

The Illinois Secretary of State Office released an interactive checklist to help you make sure you have all of the correct documents. For Janet, because she changed her name, she didn't realize she needed a marriage certificate and says, "I can't imagine what a lady, who's been divorced multiple times needs to have. I needed a birth certificate, something I never expected."

Regardless, be prepared for potentially long lines at the DMV because for both Janet Califf and Dale Brown, they took multiple trips and waited awhile. Janet says, "It took about three and a half hours. Anytime you go to the driver's license place, it's going to take a long time." Dale says, "I was probably at the DMV for an hour and a half. I went on the Friday before Labor Day weekend, I guess that's a bad time to go."

You will know if you have the REAL ID if there is a star at the top of the card. And while it may have been a hassle to get, card holder say it definitely makes things safer.

Until Oct. 1, 2020 your current drivers license will work to get on domestic flights. After that date, you will need either the REAL ID or a valid U.S. Passport to get through TSA security checkpoints.