REAL ID at Fermilab

The REAL ID Act is a U.S. federal law that includes requirements for accessing certain Federal facilities, including non-public areas of Fermilab. The details below are important and should be reviewed closely.

Fermilab REAL ID implementation

Fermilab established a process to implement REAL ID by July 1, 2021, in compliance with the REAL ID Act. Since May 3, 2023, only REAL ID-compliant IDs have been accepted to enter the Fermi site. Below are important REAL ID process details applicable to the Fermilab site:
  • Access to non-public areas is allowed only for Fermilab badged personnel. People without Fermilab badges will not be authorized to access non-public areas.
  • All visitors 18 and older, including those on foot or on bicycle, as well as all adult passengers in vehicles, will be asked to show a REAL-ID-compliant ID (REAL ID driver’s license or passport) to access the site.
  • Fermilab validates REAL ID-compliance of all Fermilab badge holders.
Lists of compliant forms of REAL-ID:

Compliant forms of REAL-ID include a U.S. or foreign passport.


Overview of requirements for Fermilab-badged personnel

 

  • Employees hired after January 1, 1987 have REAL ID compliant information on file which is used as REAL ID verification by Fermilab. If information is missing, you will be contacted by WDRS. Otherwise, no action is needed regarding badging.
  • Employees hired at Fermilab prior to January 1, 1987 need to have a REAL ID-compliant form of identification validated by Fermilab.

 

All users/affiliates, subcontractors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus and retired guests requesting physical access to non-public areas of the Batavia or South Dakota sites must provide a REAL ID-compliant document to the Campus Access office. Those requesting a new badge or renewing an expiring badge must provide a REAL ID-compliant form of identification, which includes a U.S. or foreign passport.


Frequently asked questions

If you have questions you want added to this page, please send an email.

General


The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The Act requires that Federal agencies view compliant identification for accessing certain Federal facilities, including non-public areas of Fermilab and boarding commercial aircraft. 


The Act went into effect on May 3, 2023. To comply with the Act, Fermilab took actions including applying the requirements to the badging process for employees, users/affiliates, authorized guests, scientist emeritus, retired guests, and subcontractors.


All employees, users/affiliates, visitors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus, retired guests and subcontractors who access non-public areas of the Batavia or South Dakota sites are impacted. All visitors 18 and older, including those on foot or on bicycle, as well as all adult passengers in vehicles, will be asked to show a REAL-ID-compliant ID. This includes those visiting public areas. Public areas include: the Lederman Science Center, the site’s walking/bicycling paths, portions of building 327, the lobby area of Aspen East and specific portions of Wilson Hall – the atrium, 2nd floor crossover, portions of the ground floor, and Ramsey Auditorium. 


A valid passport is REAL ID-compliant identification. If you do not have a valid passport, visit the Department of Homeland Security for more information on REAL ID-compliant identification. You can also obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state ID. You will need to go in person to present documentation to verify who you are and where you live in order to obtain a REAL ID. Visit your state driver’s license agency website. Learn more about Illinois state requirements for obtaining a REAL ID– compliant driver’s license.


Several states are compliant with the REAL ID Act. Check for the star. Generally, a star indicates the license qualifies as a REAL ID. You can also visit the Department of Homeland Security website for more information. In addition, a valid passport is a REAL ID-compliant form of identification.

Site access


Any person at Fermilab requesting use of space by non-badged people needs to complete the event approval form. If space is needed that is not designated as a Public Area, the approval process will initiate a process with the Foreign National Access Program office and Security Department to ensure the space is correctly designated public for a specified amount of time according to the Fermilab Site Security Plan. We strongly encourage that rooms be reserved in public areas for events that include non-badged individuals.


Fermilab employees and subcontractors working at the LBNF Far Site location in South Dakota will follow the same requirements as employees and subcontractors in Batavia. Fermilab employees are currently compliant with REAL ID and their Fermilab badges authorize them access to the DOE leased spaces. LBNF subcontractors must present REAL ID-compliant credentials at the time of badging. DOE leased space is only occupied by Fermilab-badged employees or subcontractors.  Additional signage will be needed after the construction phase is complete.

Travel


Effective May 3, 2023, all commercial air travel originating or terminating in the United States require passengers to present REAL-ID-compliant identification. A Fermilab badge does not satisfy the REAL ID requirement for purposes of commercial air travel. Visit the Fermilab travel site for more information (must be on the Fermilab network). Learn about flying with a REAL ID at tsa.gov/real-id and https://realid.ilsos.gov/. Individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter Transportation Security Administration (TSA) airport checkpoints and will not be allowed to fly. 


Yes, you will still need REAL ID-compliant identification beginning May 3, 2023. 


Beginning May 3, 2023, every domestic or international commercial air traveler arriving to or departing from the U.S. must present REAL ID-compliant identification. Individuals who are not able to present REAL ID-compliant identification will not be permitted to enter TSA airport checkpointand will not be permitted to fly. 


At this time, TSA does not accept mobile or electronic driver’s licenses. 

Fermilab employees

Employees hired at Fermilab prior to January 1, 1987 need to have a REAL ID-compliant form of identification validated by Fermilab.

Employees hired after January 1, 1987 have REAL ID compliant information on file which is used as REAL ID verification by Fermilab. If information is missing, you will be contacted by WDRS. Otherwise, no action is needed regarding badging.


You are required to wear/display your Fermilab badge while on site. For more information about badges, visit the badge and sticker page.


Badged non-employees

This could be relevant for users/affiliates who won’t visit the lab in time to provide REAL ID-compliant documentation to renew their badge, but still need to use our computing facilities.

The user/affiliate will continue to have remote access. The lab requires REAL ID-compliant identification only if the user needs to be on site.


If you are required to show REAL ID-compliant identification as part of the Fermilab badging process, you will be notified by WDRS directly with specific instructions. 


No, you must present original documentation.


Nothing at this point, and additional documentation may not be required. Someone will review your profile and notify you directly if further documentation is required.