More than 1,200 illegal immigrants receive Illinois driver’s licenses

Illinois began issuing temporary driver's licenses to illegal immigrants in November 2013.
Illinois began issuing temporary driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in November 2013.

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

More than 1,200 illegal immigrants living in Illinois were issued driver’s licenses last December, Secretary of State Jesse White’s office announced Wednesday, Jan. 15.

The name of each driver has been placed in a special database, indicating he or she is an illegal immigrant, but licensed to drive. Licenses are not valid to vote, board planes or purchase firearms.

The permits were issued as part of a 2013 law that amends 2005 legislation. Under the old law, Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses (TVDLs) were available to those who did not have Social Security numbers, but possessed lawful immigration status. Licenses are valid for three years.

To qualify, divers must provide proof of insurance. Drivers must also prove they have lived in Illinois for at least a year, provide a valid passport or consular ID and pass standard vision, written and road exams.

There are currently 14 locations throughout the state that issue Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses. Thirty-six more are expected to open by Feb. 1.

Illinois is now the third state, behind New Mexico and Washington, to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed the measure into law last January, making more than 250,000 immigrants eligible to drive. Quinn, along with supporters, say the law will save the state money and improve road safety. 

The law took effect last November.

More information about Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses is available at the Secretary of State’s website.

Posted Jan. 15, 2014

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