MORRIS – Illinois is one of several states that does not comply with the Real ID Act, so residents might want to ensure they have proper forms of identification.
Passed by Congress in 2005, the Real ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses,” according to the Department of Homeland Security.
A main objective of the act is to make it more difficult to produce a fake driver’s license and reduce the contrast in licensing rules between different states.
Illinois’ request last month for a time extension to become compliant with the act was rejected by the DHS.
At some point, Illinois driver’s licenses will become useless when trying to pass Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports – even for domestic flights – but that date has not been announced.
With this latest development, the Morris Area Public Library remains a viable option to obtain a U.S. passport, Library Director Lorene Kennard said, as experts recommend getting alternate forms of identification.
The Morris library is one of only a few libraries in Illinois to offer passport services, according to Kennard.
She noted the library is open more hours a day and more days a week than a courthouse or post office, which are two typical places to apply for a passport.
The DHS is currently planning procedures for Real ID enforcement at airports.
According to DHS.gov, the department will ensure that the traveling public has ample notice – at least 120 days – before any changes are made that might affect their travel planning.
Until enforcement at the airports begins, the TSA will continue to accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards from all states, as well as other forms of acceptable identification listed on the TSA website, www.tsa.gov.
Kennard said the passport service was one way for the library to expand its offerings.
She said residents can get a passport and book a trip all in one stop, with travel guides and Internet access readily available at the library.
Kennard recommended calling the library in advance at 815-942-6880 to make sure one of the four notary publics on staff is available.
She said the process takes about a half-hour, so she advises that people not wait until just before closing time.