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Quinn Signs Bill Allowing For Drivers Licenses For Undocumented Immigrants

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 28, 2013 5:45PM

2013_1_8_license.jpg Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law Sunday legislation that will allow undocumented immigrants in Illinois to obtain driver’s licenses, one of the few bills passed by the recently ended lame duck session in Springfield.

Quinn signed the bill into law at a Little Village community center, surrounded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross. Quinn touted the new law as one that will make Illinois’ roads safer.

“Today the family of Illinois celebrates the passage of an important law that will make our roads safer,” said Quinn.

Critics, however, have expressed fears the law would lead to fraud and abuse in obtaining a driver's license and have proposed added measures to obtain one, including being fingerprinted. The new law, which won't go into into effect until at least October, allows for undocumented immigrants to apply for a Temporary Driver’s License valid for three years, provided they pass vision, written and driving test and obtain auto insurance and proof they’ve lived in Illinois for at least a year and don’t have a Social Security card. The licenses will be marked “not valid for identification,” meaning they can’t be used for voter registration or purchasing a gun. They’ll also be noted for their blue background, instead of the traditional red background found on regular driver’s licenses.