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Woman's Real ID Lost After It Was Mailed From Secretary Of State's Office As Postal Problems Continue

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The only way to get a driver's license in Illinois is through the mail, but with widely reported postal problems, a CBS 2 viewer wondered, "Isn't there a better way?"

CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas shows the maddening mess that sparked her question.

Whenever she drives, Diane Vanna makes sure she has her temporary license on her. It's what the Secretary of State's Office gave her when she first ordered her Real ID nearly two months ago.

"I just kind of kept checking the mail daily to see when it was going to show up," she said.

The Real ID was supposed to arrive within two weeks. The Secretary of State's website says it was mailed July 14, but she still has no ID.

"This is a pretty significant legal document," she said. "With ID fraud, I was concerned. Where is my ID? Who has it? It is kind of concerning."

CBS 2 found similar complaints online from across the country -- some about real IDs and some about regular drivers licenses lost in the mail.

Given the postal delays and lost letters CBS 2 has reported on over the past year, we wondered if there was some other option. When the Secretary of State's office told Vanna to order another Real ID, she wondered the same thing.

"I asked if there was a way, could I have it sent certified or through FedEx and that I would happily pay for that," she said.

It turns out, standard mail is the only option, not just for Illinois but for several other states we asked across the country. We found only one—Virginia—that said people can pay extra for upgraded delivery with tracking.

"These real IDs are meant to enhance security for homeland security purposes, but there's not really a secure way to ensure that they get to you," Vanna said.

Vanna went as far as making a complaint with the postal service and filing a police report. And once we started asking questions, the State of Illinois made an exception and did send Vanna her Real ID via UPS.

"When I contacted CBS 2 apparently there was inquiry made," she said.

She's hoping it will finally get to her soon.

The Secretary of State used to just give licenses on the spot, but they say that creates a risk if a fraudster got ahold of the documents needed to get someone else's license.  So now they mail it to your address to ensure it gets to you -- or at least they try to.

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