Secretary of State's office is parked at Chicago Auto Show with REAL ID services

You can kick tires at the Chicago Auto Show — and apply for a REAL ID card with a pop-up exhibit through Feb. 20.

It's the first time the agency has offered REAL ID services at the auto show, Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said Friday.

Starting on May 7, 2025, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is requiring either passports or REAL IDs for domestic travel.

Applicants will need to bring specific documents to qualify for the REAL ID card. Those include:

• A U.S. birth certificate or valid passport.

• A Social Security card or a W-2 showing your nine-digit Social Security number.

• Two documents proving residency issued within the past three months. Those include utility bills, bank statements, and cable or credit card bills.

• Proof of your signature from a driver's license, credit card or loan/mortgage document.

So far, 3.1 million Illinoisans have received REAL IDs.

Two products are offered: REAL ID driver's licenses designated with a gold star in the top right-hand corner; or for people who don't drive, Illinois also issues identification cards. These can be obtained or renewed to achieve REAL ID status with the same documentation required for driver's licenses.

The original deadline to obtain REAL IDs was in October 2020 but that date was extended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The secretary of state's office is also renewing temporary visitor driver's licenses for the first time during the auto show. Drivers seeking renewals must provide their current card, and if needed proof of any address or name changes.

Drivers can also obtain licenses, records and vehicle registrations, as well as register to vote or become an organ and tissue donor.

The secretary of state booth is located in the South Hall of McCormick Place near the Powering Chicago exhibit.

For information on the REAL ID program, go to

Confused about REAL ID? Here's what you need to know to keep flying

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.