Skip to content

Secretary Of State Inspector General Jim Burns Visits Nashville Facility

IG Nashville 10.19.16 C.jpg

Secretary of State Jesse White’s Inspector General Jim Burns talks with Nashville facility staff member Kathy Youngman about the new central issuance process, which better combats fraud and identity theft. The upgrades to the DL/ID move Illinois closer to compliance with the REAL ID Act, which is a federal mandate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s Inspector General Jim Burns visited the Nashville Driver Services Facility to discuss security upgrades to the Driver’s License/ID card design, as well as the transition to a more secure central issuance process. The Nashville facility implemented the central issuance process in July. With implementation of these changes, Illinois has moved closer to achieving full REAL ID compliance, which is a federal mandate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Applicants visiting Driver Services facilities no longer are issued a new permanent DL/ID card at the end of the application process. Instead, they leave the facility with a temporary secure paper driver’s license, which is valid for 45 days and serves as their DL/ID for driving purposes and proof of identification. The temporary, secure paper driver’s license or ID card contains a photo and the basic information that appears on the permanent driver’s license or ID card. In addition, the facility employee returns the old DL/ID card back to the applicant after punching a hole in it.

Meanwhile, the applicant’s information is sent to a centralized, secure facility in Illinois. After fraud checks have been conducted to ensure the applicant’s identity, a higher quality, more secure DL/ID is printed and sent via U.S. mail within 15 business days to the applicant’s address.

“These changes are necessary for Illinois to be REAL ID compliant,” said White. “In addition, the changes further enhance our efforts to protect Illinoisans from fraud and identity theft. The upgraded driver’s license and ID card contain a variety of enhanced security features that take advantage of new developments in technology.”

“These important changes benefit the public and are strongly supported by the Secretary of State’s Safe ID Task Force,” said Burns, who serves as chairman of the task force. “Central issuance provides better fraud and identity theft prevention by allowing the office to investigate possible fraud before applicants receive their DL/ID in the mail. In addition, the design of the DL/ID card has been upgraded with important features that over-the-counter technology simply cannot produce. The centralized, secure facility utilizes high-tech manufacturing equipment capable of printing cards incorporating state-of-the-art security features. These types of anti-counterfeiting security features

For purposes of air travel, DHS states that it will accept the temporary document in conjunction with the old DL/ID to board an aircraft until the permanent card arrives in the mail. Illinois joins 39 other states that have moved to centralized production and issuance of DL/ID cards. This includes heavily populated states like California, Texas, and New York – as well as Illinois’ neighboring states.

Burns stressed that it is imperative that applicants ensure their address is updated with the Secretary of State’s office in order to receive the permanent driver’s license or ID card. By law, address changes must be reported within 10 days. Illinoisans can update their address online at If an applicant does not receive their new permanent driver’s license or ID card after 15 business days of visiting a facility, they can check the status at or call 217-782-7044.

These necessary changes are important steps toward becoming REAL ID compliant. DHS announced in January that Illinois DL/IDs will continue to be accepted as primary forms of identification to board commercial airplanes for domestic travel until January 22, 2018.

Burns also noted that Public Act 99-511, legislation that was initiated by White and was signed into law on June 24, 2016, meets required legislative benchmarks for REAL ID set by DHS. The law calls for first-time DL/ID card applicants, beginning July 1, 2017, to show proof of legal presence by presenting a U.S. passport, a certified copy of their birth certificate or immigration documents that show the person is lawfully in the country. The law also replaces non-expiring ID cards for seniors with an 8-year ID card, changes expiration dates from 10 years to eight for disability ID cards and prohibits an Illinoisan from holding a driver’s license and an ID card simultaneously. These provisions are required for REAL ID compliance.

Burns reemphasized that DL/ID card renewal applicants visiting Driver Services facilities will not need to bring in any new or additional documentation. “Nothing has changed in that regard,” said Burns.

While the driver’s license and ID card upgrades are being implemented, there will be more than one valid driver’s license/ID card until the old design format is phased out. Fees remained unchanged.

For more information on the security upgrades and new issuance process, as well as to view a short video, visit the Secretary of State’s website at