Illinois to Start Testing Undocumented Immigrants Applying for Driver’s Licenses

Today the Illinois Secretary of State will start testing undocumented immigrants who have applied for the new Temporary Visitor’s Driver’s License (TVDL).  In January 2013, the Illinois Legislature passed SB 957, which allows undocumented immigrants to obtain temporary driver’s licenses in Illinois.  The TVDL’s can only be used for driving, not as a form of identification, and are good for three years.  After that, applicants can re-apply.  Since the law was passed back in January, the Secretary of State has been formulating its requirements for applicants.

As promised, last month, Secretary of State has released a list of required documents and announced the start of its pilot program at select Secretary of State locations.  Applicants will need to produce documents showing the following:

- Name and date of birth: need one document
- Written Signature: need one document
- Current Address: need two documents
- Proof of 12 Months of Residency in Illinois: need one document
- Proof of Name Change: need one document (only if the applicant’s name is different from the name shown on the applicant’s passport or consular card)

In addition, applicants are required to take driver’s tests and obtain valid insurance.  The Secretary of State started accepting applications last month at select locations.  Today, the Secretary of State will start testing applicants at two Secretary of State locations.  Initially, the Secretary of State will only schedule tests for six applicants per day.  However,by mid-December, that number should increase greatly when other facilities will start testing.  In addition, the Secretary intends to keep pace with the strong demand this month, when 36 other facilities will start scheduling appointments for January, 2014.  The demand is extremely strong: so far, the Secretary of State has scheduled over 5,500 appointments and the dedicated hotline is receiving about 10,000 calls per day.

Unlike applying for normal driver’s licenses, the process for applying for TVDL’s is by appointment only.  By scheduling appointments, the Secretary of State hopes to avoid long lines and long waiting periods for applicants.  Given the strong demand, this seems like a good idea.

To date, Illinois is the largest State offering temporary driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants.  Currently, Washington, Nevada, and New Mexico offer driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.  For more about TVDL’s and how Villalobos & Associates can help applicants procure the correct documents, here: http://www.villaloboslaw.com/TVDL.html.