Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is pleased with the recent decision by the federal government to extend the federal REAL ID deadline beyond Oct. 1, 2020.

White sent a letter on March 18 calling on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to push back the Oct. 1, 2020, federal REAL ID deadline. White joined the National Governors Association, other states, government leaders and the travel industry, urging DHS to extend the enforcement date on REAL ID due to the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the general public and driver’s license and ID card-issuing agencies nationwide.

DHS has not yet established the new federal deadline. Current Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards (DL/ID) will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities until a new deadline is set by the federal government.

“The decision to extend the enforcement date of REAL ID is the proper and necessary action during this time of uncertainty and crisis,” said White. “The guiding principle of my decision making will, and must, continue to focus on the health and safety of all Illinoisans. This move by the federal government embraces this philosophy and I commend them for it.”

White stressed he will continue to monitor the situation involving DHS and REAL ID and is eager to learn of the new enforcement date set by DHS. U.S. President Donald Trump publicly announced on March 23 that the REAL ID deadline will be extended beyond Oct. 1, 2020.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, White closed all offices, including Driver Services facilities statewide to the public, through April 7, due to the virus and the health and safety recommendations by experts endorsing social distancing efforts. Many other states have followed with similar actions.

White is reminding residents that many transactions with the Secretary of State’s office may be conducted online at www.cyberdriveillinois.com. Some Secretary of State employees continue working to process these transactions as efficiently as possible.