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 Act will go into effect on October 1, 2021, and as a federal facility, Fermilab must comply. The details below are important and should be reviewed closely.

Fermilab REAL ID implementation

Fermilab has established a process to implement REAL ID by October 1, 2021, in compliance with the Act. Access to public areas will remain unchanged. Fermilab will be validating REAL ID-compliance of all Fermilab badge holders. Beginning October 1, 2021, access to non-public areas will be allowed only to Fermilab badged personnel or those escorted by badged personnel. People without Fermilab badges will not be authorized to access non-public areas without an escort.

A list of REAL ID-compliant forms of identification can be found here – and includes a U.S. or foreign passport – and a map of Fermilab’s public areas can be found here.  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 Wilson Hall atrium, portions of the 15th floor, portions of the 2nd floor, portions of the ground floor, portions of the mezzanine, Ramsey Auditorium and the elevators.

What Employees need to do

  • Employees hired after January 1, 1987 have REAL ID compliant information on file which will be 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 will need to have a REAL ID-compliant form of identification validated by Fermilab by August 1, 2021.  WDRS will be contacting you directly in March to provide specific instructions.
  • Fermilab-badged personnel will be required to complete escort training.  Badged personnel will then be allowed to escort non-badged visitors into non-public areas.  Training will begin in the spring and additional communication will be provided.

What Users, Subcontractors, Authorized Guests, Scientist Emeritus and Retired Guests need to do

All users, subcontractors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus and retired guests requesting physical access to non-public areas of the Batavia or South Dakota sites must submit a document to the Users Office (for users) or Badging Office (for subcontractors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus and retired guests) that is REAL ID-compliant as part of the badging process, as follows:

  • Fermilab users, subcontractors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus and retired guests who have provided a passport to obtain a badge will not need to do anything different regarding badging.
  • Beginning April 1, 2021, people who are holding a badge that expires after September 30, 2021, and have NOT provided a passport or other REAL ID-compliant form of identification will be notified and will need to present a REAL ID-compliant form of identification to the Users or Badging Office by August 1.  Notices will be sent our from April to June 2021.
  • For all badge renewals, beginning on April 1, 2021, people 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.
  • Badge validity will be granted through the requested period only if a REAL ID-compliant form of identification is provided during the badging process.  If a REAL ID-compliant form of identification is not provided, the validity of the badge will be through June 30, 2021.
  • Fermilab-badged personnel will be required to complete escort training.  Badged personnel will then be allowed to escort non-badged visitors into non-public areas.  Training will begin in the spring and additional communication will be provided.

Frequently asked questions

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

General

What is REAL ID?

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. 

When does the REAL ID Act go into effect?

The Act goes into effect on October 1, 2021. To comply with the Act, Fermilab is taking certain actions now, including relating to its badging process for employees, users, authorized guests, scientist emeritus, retired guests and subcontractors. Beginning Oct 1, 2021, access to non-public areas will be allowed only to Fermilab badged personnel or those escorted by badged personnel. 

Who at Fermilab will be impacted?

All employees, users, visitors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus, retired guests and subcontractors who access non-public areas of the Batavia or South Dakota sites will be impacted. Visitors to Fermilab who visit only public areas will not be impacted. 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 Wilson Hall atrium, portions of the 15th floor, portions of the 2nd floor, portions of the ground floor, portions of the mezzanine, Ramsey Auditorium and the elevators.

How do I obtain REAL ID-compliant identification?

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: https://www.dhs.gov/real-idYou 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 here: https://realid.ilsos.gov/realidfaq.html 

I don’t live in Illinois. How do I know if my state is compliant or that I have a REAL ID-compliant document?

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: https://www.dhs.gov/archive/current-status-states-territories.  In addition, a valid passport is a REAL-ID compliant form of identification. 


Site access

When Fermilab hosts conference-like events with many people who don’t have badges, we sometimes have to use conference rooms that are not in the public areas. Will that still be allowed under the new policy?

Any person at Fermilab requesting use of space by non-badged or escorted people needs to complete the Facility Request Form approval process. If space is needed that is not designated as a Public Area, the approval process will initiate a process with the FV&A 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.

How will the public access the Batavia site?

The public will be able to access public areas of the Batavia site just as they do now. REAL ID compliant identification will not be required at the security gatesPublic 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 Wilson Hall atrium, portions of the 15th floor, portions of the 2nd floor, portions of the ground floor, portions of the mezzanine, Ramsey Auditorium and the elevators. 

How will the South Dakota site be impacted?

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. Guests and visitors must be escorted by badged personnel in the DOE leased spaces.


Travel

When do I need to have a REAL ID for commercial airline travel?

All commercial air travel originating or terminating in the United States will require passengers to present REAL-ID-compliant identification starting on Oct. 1, 2021. 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 and 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. 

Are Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pre-approved travelers subject to REAL ID identification requirements?

Yes, you will still need REAL ID-compliant identification beginning October 1, 2021. 

After October 1, 2021, can I use my driver’s license if it is not REAL ID-compliant to board a commercial aircraft?

Beginning October 1, 2021, 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. 

Does TSA accept mobile driver’s licenses?

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


Fermilab employees

What do I need to do if I was hired prior to January 1, 1987?

You will be asked to provide a REAL ID-compliant identification prior to August 1, 2020. You will be notified by WDRS directly with specific instructions. All employees will be required to complete escort training. 

What do I need to do if I was hired January 1, 1987 and after?

You will be notified by WDRS directly if you require documentation. All employees will be required to complete escort training.

Why will I have to carry my Fermilab badge while I’m at the lab?

You may be asked to show your badge in non-public areas. 


Badged Fermilab users, subcontractors, authorized guests, scientist emeritus and retired guests

If a user’s badge becomes invalid, does this affect only the badge and not their associated ID and computing account?

This could be relevant for users 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 will continue to have remote access. The lab requires real ID compliant identification only if the user needs to be on site.

What’s the process for obtaining a Fermilab badge?

Follow the instructions listed on the Fermilab badging site (https://get-connected.fnal.gov/contractor-id-badge/).

Who should I submit my REAL ID-compliant document to?

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. 

I have a copy of my REAL ID document. Can I bring in a copy?

No, you must present original documentation.

I provided my passport and visa information when I received my current badge. What do I need to do?

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.