You have been hearing a lot about REAL I.D. and enhanced driver licenses on the news. Missouri and Illinois are now issuing REAL I.D. – compliant driver licenses! And this is important because starting May 3, 2023, all passengers 18 or older will have to present one of the following to be able to board an airplane, access Federal facilities like military bases and Federal Courthouses, or enter a nuclear power plant:

A Real I.D. Compliant driver license or a valid Passport or a valid Global Entry card. (Passengers with TSA/ Trusted Traveler and CLEAR memberships will not be allowed to use those memberships because no I.D. card is issued as part of their membership.)

When you go to get your driver license renewed, you have the option of getting a regular license or a compliant license. The clerk will ask which you prefer. The compliant licenses will have a yellow or gold STAR in the upper right corner, and will also have a special coding on the back of the license.

FIRST STEP- Look at your current driver license or state I.D. card to see when it expires. If it expires before September, 2021 you can apply for REAL I.D. – complaint license when you renew. If it expires after 10/1/21, you will have to renew your license before it expires; so mark your calendar for later this year to go to the License Bureau and get your license renewed. Remember to allow up to 15 days for processing, so don’t wait until the 10/01/21 deadline!

There is no additional charge to get REAL I.D. compliant license, but additional forms of identification are required when you renew your driver license to conform to the REAL I.D. system. You must have the following documents to prove all of the four requirements: Identity, Lawful status, Social Security number and proof of residency. Although some documents will prove more than one requirement.


  • A valid passport book or passport card, or
  • Certified U.S. birth certificate, or
  • Certificate of citizenship or naturalization, or
  • Consular report of birth abroad, or
  • Valid permanent residence card

Social Security Number-


  • Social Security Card- must be signed and cannot be laminated or altered
  • W-2 form showing your Social Security Number
  • Pay Stub showing your Social Security Number
  • Tax Return showing your Social Security Number

Proof of Residency-

  • Utility Bill
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Bank Statement
  • Pay Stub
  • Property Tax Receipt, Real Estate Tax Receipt
  • Homeowners Policy or Auto Insurance Policy or Card
  • Driver License or Auto License Renewal Post Card
  • In Illinois, you will need PROOF OF SIGNATURE, such as a signed credit card or debit card, cancelled check, current Illinois driver license or state I.D.

Additional items may be required if your current legal name is different from the name on your birth certificate or other documents. You may need certified copies of your marriage license, divorce decree or adoption papers to prove the name change.

For additional information, please go to the following sites:
For general questions about the Real I.D. program-