CHICAGO (CBS) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline for the REAL ID again – this time until May 3, 2023.

The original deadline had been Oct. 21, 2020. In March of last year at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, it was moved to Oct. 21 of this year.

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It has now been extended again due to the ongoing pandemic and the impact the virus is having on both the general public and agencies that issue driver’s licenses and ID cards, according to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

White and other state and business leaders from around the country had called for another extension of the deadline.

“I applaud the decision by DHS to extend the REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023 – 19 months past the old deadline of Oct. 1, 2021,” White said in a news release. “This is the proper and necessary action in response to the pandemic.”

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With the deadline extended, current Illinois driver’s licenses and state IDs will still be acceptable at airports and secure federal facilities until May 3, 2023.

After that date, drivers can still bring a valid U.S. passport or other TSA-acceptable documents to fly domestically until they must renew their license.

White’s office also emphasized that online services have been expanded, and licenses and state ID cards may be renewed at www.cyberdriveillinois.com rather than at a Driver Services facility.

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White has also extended all driver’s license and state ID expiration dates to Aug. 1, 2021 at the earliest, though this does not apply to commercial driver’s licenses and CDL learner’s permits.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff