SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois residents would have the right to seek a Real ID Act-compliant driver's license or a noncompliant license if legislation now in the state Senate becomes law.
"If you are someone who doesn't use air travel or have a reason to visit a federal facility or military base, or prefer to use a U.S. passport, which itself is considered Real ID-compliant, the noncompliant card may be a viable option," Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White said.
Illinois issues Real ID driver's license and identification cards to people who bring in certified copies of birth certificates, federal immigration documents, U.S. passports or other highly secure documents. Federal law requires Real ID cards or other secure forms of identification to board airplanes or enter certain other restricted areas.
Under a bill proposed by state Sen. Iris Martinez of Chicago, the state also could provide less secure driver's licenses to people who lack highly secure proof of identification.
Illinois is operating its driver's license ID operations under the Real ID Act of 2005 as it upgrades all systems required by federal law. Upgrades are supposed to be completed by October.
White said the state is 90 percent compliant with the Department of Homeland Security rules. One of the remaining steps will involve moving camera images to the front of the process and hooking up with an electronic verification system with the federal government.