Illinois driver’s license deemed not secure enough for feds

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Sample of an Illinois driver's license. (Illinois Secretary Of State)

CHICAGO — 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.

Illinois Secretary of State’s office spokesman David Druker says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has notified Illinois that its request for an extension has been denied. Illinois previously was granted two one-year extensions.

The 2005 Real ID act imposes tougher requirements for proof of legal U.S. residency in order for driver’s licenses to be valid for federal purposes. The law was passed after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Druker calls the federal decision “misguided and shortsighted.” Annual cost of complying would be at least $4 million.