Need ID For Air Travel? County Clerk Says Passport Is Still Your Best Bet

Need ID For Air Travel? County Clerk Says Passport Is Still Your Best Bet

The state of Illinois will be set to issue Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses by October 2018, but until Real ID licenses are available, a passport still might be your best option for air travel, the Kane County Clerk’s Office says.

The County Clerk’s Office said in its December “Up Front” newsletter that Dave Druker from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office called to confirm that the state received an extension on the Real ID compliance from the Transportation Safety Administration through October.

According to the Department of Homeland Security website, the extension allows federal agencies to accept driver’s licenses and identification cards from Illinois at federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until October 10, 2018.

“REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification,” the DHS website says.

According to an article in the State Journal Register, the state expects certification to come through by the end of 2018 and likely will start issuing compliant cards beginning in January 2019.

SJR says that, back in August, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 395, which creates a two-tiered REAL ID system in Illinois. The two-tiered system gives Illinois residents the option of applying for a driver’s license or state identification card that is compliant with REAL ID, or one that is not. Obtaining a REAL ID compliant license or identification card requires additional documents to prove a person’s identify, such as a certified copy of a birth certificate or a U.S. passport.

“If you have a passport, you have a REAL ID compliant document. You may not need a REAL ID card,” Nathan Maddox, senior legal adviser to Secretary of State Jesse White, told SJR. “If you never fly or never go into federal facilities, you may not need it.”

In Wisconsin, which has a two-tired plan, only about 22 percent of residents have opted to obtain a REAL ID-compliant card, the SJR article said.

Passports Ensure Travel Plans

Kane County Clerk John Cunningham is reminding residents that a passport is a guaranteed way to ensure that your travel plans will not be disrupted.

“I encourage those who have travel plans in 2018 and do not already have a passport to consider coming to the Clerk’s Office to apply for a passport,” he said. “Having a valid passport will ensure that you are able to board your airplane and not get stuck on the wrong side of the security checkpoint.”

First-time applicants can apply for either a passport book or card in person at the Clerk’s Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Building B, Geneva, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, or from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. For a user fee of $15 per person, passport applicants can have a passport photograph taken when they apply at the Clerk’s Office.

For information about the passport photography service, application fees, acceptable forms of ID, or passports generally, visit this page of the Kane County Clerk’s Office website or call 630-232-5964.

About the Kane County Clerk’s Office

The Kane County Clerk’s Office is an authorized acceptance agency for passports. The Clerk’s Office performs several other major functions, including custodian of county records, registrar of vital records, chief election official, and tax extension. The Clerk’s Office provides information and resources to residents through the xlerk’s website, Twitter @KaneCoILClerk, and Facebook page.

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