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Undocumented Immigrants May Apply For Driver's Licenses Starting In November

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 30, 2013 4:05PM


Nearly 250,000 undocumented immigrants are expected to apply for temporary driver’s as early as November under a law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn in January.

Senate Bill 957 will allow for undocumented immigrants to apply for a “Temporary Visitor Driver’s License” valid for three years provided they pass vision, written and driving tests 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 purple background, instead of the traditional red background found on regular driver’s licenses. Licenses will not be automatically issued; the state will verify the application information and run facial recognition searches of applicants across other databases. The process could take 15 to 20 business days to complete.

Because of the high demand applicants must schedule an appointment by calling 855-236-1155 or visiting, although walk-ins will be accepted. Services will be provided in English, Spanish, Polish, Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

Critics fear the law will be open to fraud and abuse and have proposed extra measures to mitigate that including fingerprinting of applicants. Supporters of the law say it will make Illinois’ roads safer. Secretary of State Jesse White said “We are on the right side of the issue.”