Slow Down: A Look at Driver’s Education and the REAL ID

Driver’s Education:

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, driver’s education is one of the many things that changed. Classes went from inside the classroom and behind the wheel to online. To keep students and instructors safe behind the wheel, the driver’s education programs were temporarily postponed until the stay at home order was lifted.

While the format has changed, there are some positives for students who had to take driver’s education online:

  1. Flexibility
  2. Stay on track
  3. Self-paced
  4. Ability to review previous training modules
  5. Focused learning
  6. 24/7 support
  7. Certified instructors available virtually

Classroom education can sometimes feel like a fast-moving pace to go through lessons as scheduled. However, doing the courses online, a student can learn at their own pace, on their own schedule in the comfort of their home. Most schools are making accommodations to make sure that each student succeeds until the classroom and behind the wheel lessons open up again. Each school has its own online program and rules that parents would need to look into and make the best choice for their young driving students.

Most schools are re-opening along with the Illinois Secretary of State facilities June 1 and June 2. Precautions are being implemented to minimize the spread of the virus. To ensure that vehicles for behind the wheel education are safe, schools are making sure that their vehicles are properly sanitized before and after each student’s lesson. Students are being instructed to communicate to reschedule their lessons if they have any symptoms until their symptoms subside. Schools are also requiring masks for the students and instructors to wear masks during the driving lesson. The first time driving can be a scary experience for a young 15-year-old or someone of any age but instructors know how important and educational the behind the wheel, hands-on experience is. For some students, this may be their first time behind the wheel, and instructors want to make sure that each lesson is a fulfilling and positive experience.


The Secretary of State has also put a 90-day extension for those who have expired licenses, ID cards, and vehicle registrations. If your license or registrations is expired, or you are trying to obtain one, make sure to look online for what facilities are open, review the rules and regulations, as well as safety precautions required, for said locations. 

The Department of Homeland Security is requiring citizens to obtain a REAL ID, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the extension to acquire a REAL ID has also been moved to October 1, 2021. “Beginning October 1, 2021, every state and territory resident will need to present a REAL ID-compliant license/ID, or another acceptable form of identification, for accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding commercial aircraft.”  To obtain a REAL ID (which has a star marking on it) one must visit a driver’s licensing center and make sure you bring the proper required documents. Minimal documents might be documentation showing your legal name, date of birth, social security number, and proof of address. However, some facilities or states might require additional documents, so be sure to check online what is required. There are more steps to obtain a REAL ID than a standard license so make sure to be prepared when doing so. Always do your research before going to your local Secretary of State facility so that you do not have to make more than one trip. 

A New Direction?

Although the pandemic may have slowed down eager soon-to-be new drivers from obtaining a driver’s license, on the plus side, the experience rolled down the window to allow for some additional training. Perhaps the on-line training courses will be a new direction and pave the road for more safe drivers.

Written by: Monika Wolniak

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This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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