Jesse White Press Secretary Dave Druker returns to answer your outstanding Real ID questions

John Williams

Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Airport Executives, Todd Hauptli, shows his “Real ID” compliant driver’s license during a news conference at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Secretary of State Press Secretary Dave Druker joins John Williams to answer your questions leftover from last week. That’s 43 questions John hand-picked and sent to the secretary of state’s office. Those questions are answered in the interview, but can also be found below.


757: I am retired military. Will my retired military license count as real ID?

SOS: Yes.


708: Do children under the age 18 need a real ID to travel domestically after October 2020? Meaning children with out a Driver’s License or pass port. When you travel with a child under the age of 18 you have to have the child’s birth certificate that would match up with the parents ID. I’m not saying it’s the most accurate way of doing things I’m just saying that’s how they do it.

SOS: If you’re under 18 and traveling with a parent, you don’t need a Real ID. If you’re over 18, you’ll need one.


630: John, is this right? If your license is not expiring yet, but you go now to get it upgraded for Real ID, it is only $5, not $30, like replacing a lost driver’s license.

SOS: That’s correct.


847: Does real-id have an expiration date like driver’s license?

SOS: Yes. The Real ID driver’s license is good for 4 years.


630: Is this true? People can print their online bills ahead of time to bring for the needed documentation.

SOS: Correct.


773: I have 2 addresses. How do handle this?

SOS: Use your permanent address.


630: My husband went for his real I’d, he took his Social Security card (he is 75 years old), the card was NOT accepted.  He had to show a social security tax form.

SOS: They should have accepted his SS card unless it was indecipherable.


219: Why were we so late? Whats wrong with Illinois?  Got my real id in Indiana in 2015.

SOS: Illinois was without a budget for several years which delayed working on programs. Early on there was much opposition to REAL ID. In fact the General Assembly passed a resolution some years ago criticism it as an unfunded mandate. We have made great strides to become compliant.


630: Is this true? Real ID: Regarding Lauren’s comment about medical bills, if that is not an item exactly listed on their checklist, they will not accept it. They would not accept info on my condo assessments as proof of residence. Also, residence documents must be dated within the past 3 months.

SOS: We should have accepted it.


708: John, went to get my Real ID, didn’t get it. Make sure you tell them you want one or you get regular license.

SOS:  Make sure you let our office know. You do need extra documents for Real ID.


847: Is this true? John I just got my real id and for the picture I had to take my glasses off for the national facial recognition database!!!!

SOS: Yes we ask for facial recognition.


815: Is there a surcharge to have a new driver’s licence upgraded to the i.d. ?

SOS: No.


219: Will people need to bring a divorce certificate? My wife brought our marriage certificate, as well as all the other documents, they also wanted the divorce certificate. I guess they were also checking for bigamy.

SOS: No divorce documents needed. Marriage certificate for each marriage to show name change.


224: Is a doctor’s note necessary? John, my mother is 87 & went to get her real ID. She is handicapped, uses a wheelchair & brought her special handicapped packet for cars she rides in. The couldn’t provide a new ID for her until she brought a note from her doctor . Two & 1/2 hours wasted. 😆

SOS: No.


630: Is this true? A lot of new initiatives are “security theater.”  But the REAL ID should help people. The real ID has a chip and when that is scanned at TSA, for example, your photo and info pops on the screen. It’s another layer to confirm the identity of the person.

SOS: No.


309: Why do we need MORE than a Passport and Drivers License to get a Real ID???

SOS: Those are the federal government requirements.


847: Is this true? They can not use a Passport  as the sole ID for a Real ID because no DMV has the equipment needed to verify if a passport is real or fake.

SOS:No. Passports are verified at DMVs.


847: Got real ID. Easy peasy at Lake Zurich. Went to Waukegan and didnt even make in door. All workers were super nice!

SOS: It varies between facilities.


708: Renewed my license, got my real ID in June at Lexington Ave. DMV. Was easy, quick, staff nice and efficient. I followed the guidelines before my visit, brought correct documents.

SOS: Great!


847: Do these work? For documents showing address, just print out the pdf copies of two electronic bills.  All entities issue pdf files with their electronic bills. -Pam

SOS: Yes.


309: Is this true? Hi John. My secretary of states office said that you can use an exclamation of benefits from your health insurance company or a bank statement that shows your address. Hopefully that might help the other lady. Thanks

SOS: Yes.


847: Is that for citizens only? What about those resident aliens with a Green Card?

SOS: If you have a Green Card, you can’t get a Real ID. However, a Green Card will get you on a plane. If you’re an undocumented immigrant with a temporary visitor’s driver’s license (TVDL), you do not qualify for a Real ID. The only way for you to fly would be with your passport from country of origin.


912: Can someone use a hunting license or bond receipt to get a Real ID?

SOS: No.


630: Confirming….a global entry/trusted traveler card is a valid alternative to Real ID.

SOS:  Yes.


847: My son is 18, and has a temp/learners permit. He is a freshman at the University of Nebraska and flies home. What are the requirements for him being under 22 years of age?

SOS: As an 18-year-old, he’s an adult and will need to have a Real ID or passport.


630: Will Real ID take the place of a DL?

SOS: Yes, a Real ID DL will take the place of your current DL.


219: Will you comment on this? The Real ID license discriminates against women. If you’ve been married more than one time, you are forced to pay a lot of money to get all of your paperwork together. First, you need a birth certificate, then you need a marriage license, then you need divorce papers, then you need another marriage license and so on. It costs a lot of money to go out of state to get your paperwork. A lot of money to get certified copies. Total ripoff for women.

SOS:  You would need a marriage certificate for each marriage. No divorce documents will ever be needed. So, if you get married, divorced, and married again, you would need two marriage certificates. Married again? Another certificate, etc.


847: What about children with special needs who are non verbal 16 years old but developmentally only a second grader? And who will never drive.

SOS: The same rules apply; this child is under 18 and therefore could travel with a parent using the parent’s passport or a Real ID.


847: Hey King John, what about my ten-year-old son who doesn’t have a utility bill in his name?

SOS: He doesn’t need a Real ID.


630: Does a FOID card count as ID?

SOS: No.


773: I pay my utilities online so don’t have mail what can I do?

SOS: Go online and print out your most recent bill.


224: If I only have a Real ID and not a drivers license, will that count as a drivers license as well ?

SOS: A Real ID card does not equal a driver’s license. However, a Real ID Driver’s License, which you can also get, will be your new driver’s license.


312: Can i use an expired passport to get a real id?

SOS: No.


312: What if you have a passport card? That is, is a passport card the same as a Real ID?

SOS: Yes.


309: After October 2020 will all licenses be real ID?

SOS: No, you can still have a traditional driver’s license. But you will need the new Real ID to get on a plane, into a federal building or onto a military base. Or you will need a passport to do those things.


708: I just renewed my DL in August 2019 but didn’t get the Real ID.  What do I have to pay to get a real ID?

SOS: $5


773: Can I use my Real ID to get in and out of Canada and Mexico and cruise the Caribbean?

SOS: No, that’s still international travel. You will need a passport.


708: My husband had to renew his license in July. He also applied for his real ID at that time. He still has not received the real ID. Who does he need to contact?

SOS: If you haven’t received your Real ID in two weeks, call 217-782-7044


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