Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

In January 2013, Governor Quinn signed Senate Bill 957, allowing undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses in the State of Illinois. Under the new law, aliens who do not have a VISA or Social Security number may be eligible to receive a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL) as early as November 2013.

When applying, the undocumented immigrant must make an appointment at a Secretary of State facility and present proof of Illinois residency for a minimum of one year, proof of their ineligibility to obtain a social security number, a valid unexpired passport from the applicant’s country of citizenship, in addition to other documentation not yet outlined by the Secretary of State. All applicants must consent to a facial recognition search, which is aimed to prevent fraud. The Secretary of State has a highly sophisticated and accurate facial recognition database, which uses an algorithm to match more than a dozen facial features. Fingerprinting will not be used.

The TVDL is valid for a period of three (3) years and may not be renewed. The applicant must reapply for a new TVDL each time. The applicant must have proof of liability insurance or the TVDL is considered invalid. As a result, a TVDL holder who does not posses valid proof of insurance may be charged with Driving Without a Valid License (625 ILCS 5/6-101). The TVDL is not a valid form of identification, may not be considered valid outside of Illinois, and will look different from a standard driver’s license. It is estimated that the new law will allow approximately 250,000 people unlawfully residing in Illinois to apply for driving privileges.

The full text of SB957 is available here.

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