driver's license

Illinois is among 14 states that received a year-long extension to comply with stricter federal requirements for driver's licenses and identification cards.

The extension granted Wednesday means Illinois now has until Oct. 10, 2017 to comply with the 2005 Real ID act. It imposes tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

  A new law allows members of the Illinois National guard to be considered veterans on their drivers’ licenses. WNIJ’s Chase Cavanaugh has more. 

The bill was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner at an American Legion convention last week.  It allows members of the guard and reserve to receive a veteran designation on their state drivers licenses if their only period of active duty was their initial and annual training.  To prove this status, they need to present a certificate of discharge from their respective service branch to the Secretary of State.  

Credit Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Beginning Sunday, Missourians and Illinoisans will no longer be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards as acceptable forms of identification to enter most federal facilities, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

But the clock has not yet started on limiting their use to board commercial airplanes.

Federal officials are increasing pressure on several states to bring their driver’s license programs into compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. The states that are out of compliance include Missouri and Illinois.

An Illinois driver's license won't be enough identification to get into most federal facilities after Jan. 10 when the state's exemption from federal Real ID requirements ends.

By summer, it could mean Illinois driver's licenses won't be accepted as identification for commercial airplane flights.

Secretary of State

More than a million people have Illinois drivers' licenses but aren't registered to vote. They would be registered automatically under a measure before the General Assembly.

Democrat Daniel Biss from Evanston says he thinks it is his responsibility as a public official to make the election process as open as possible.

"I think that we have a challenge in our society right now where participation in democracy feels first of all difficult and second of all, unfortunately sometimes pointless," Biss said.