Here's how Illinois' driver's license is changing

  • The newest Illinois driver's licenses will include an "ultraviolet feature" on the back and will be sent to applicants through the mail starting this summer in an effort to meet federal security guidelines.

    The newest Illinois driver's licenses will include an "ultraviolet feature" on the back and will be sent to applicants through the mail starting this summer in an effort to meet federal security guidelines. courtesy of the Illinois secretary of state office

  • New state license

    Graphic: New state license (click image to open)

 
 
Updated 5/17/2016 7:27 PM

The newest Illinois driver's licenses will include an "ultraviolet feature" on the back and will be sent to applicants through the mail starting this summer in an effort to meet federal security guidelines.

Late last year, the federal Department of Homeland Security said Illinois' license cards didn't meet federal Real ID standards that will eventually be required for people to board an airplane, among other things.

 

Flights haven't been affected yet and won't be until at least 2018, but Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says changes he announced Tuesday will move the state closer to compliance.

"The upgraded driver's license and ID card contain a variety of enhanced security features that take advantage of new developments in technology," White said in a statement.

Those changes mean drivers renewing a license will leave one of White's driver services buildings with a temporary paper license while a more secure version is created on a special printer at a "secure facility" in Illinois.

The temporary card willd be valid for 45 days and can be used to board a plane when paired with a driver's old license.

People using the Safe Driver Renewal program going forward will get an updated, more secure driver's license in the coming weeks.

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Not everyone has to rush out and get a new license immediately. The old ones will be replaced over time.

Some officials had warned that if Illinois didn't comply, state license holders eventually would need a passport even to board domestic flights. But federal officials said Illinois licenses would be fine until at least 2018 while also stressing states should get to work.

"Over the next two years, those states that are not Real ID compliant are strongly encouraged to meet the requirements of the law for the benefit of their residents," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh C. Johnson said at the time.

The license changes are separate from the ongoing budget stalemate that has left many Illinois drivers missing deadlines to get new license plate stickers after White's office stopped sending reminders in the mail.

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