Skip to main content
Northwestern University

Federal REAL ID Act

The Federal REAL ID Act requires airline travelers to carry a REAL ID compliant form of identification. Illinois’s initial extension to become compliant, which has allowed airline passengers to continue using Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards at airports, is set to expire in January 2018. The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office expects their request for a second extension to be granted in January 2018. If another extension is not granted in Illinois, airline passengers will need to provide a REAL ID compliant form of identification (i.e., passport) to board planes starting January 22, 2018. Anyone concerned about traveling with an Illinois ID alone should carry their passport as well. Visit the U.S. Department of State’s website for information on passport applications.

Back to top