First day for undocumented immigrants to get driver’s license in Illinois

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Today, Illinois becomes the largest state in the US to allow undocumented residents to get a temporary driver’s license. The demand is high but the process, so far, is slow.

The state program director says the slow start is by design.

For now, only six people at two Secretary of State Facilities will be allowed to test each day. An incredibly small number when you consider hundreds of thousands of people want a temporary visitor drivers license.

500,000 people in all are said to want one, producing 10,000 calls a day.  It’s a major road bump for applicants.

Only six undocumented applicants in Chicago and another six in Springfield are able to apply for 3 year temporary driver’s license today.

In addition to scrutinizing documents, taking tests and taking pictures, there is also verification that takes place downstate, which is an additional step. The state promises everyone’s information is protected by the Drivers Privacy Act.  Nothing will be turned over to another government agency without a subpoena.

By January 1st, 36 facilities will be processing temporary visitor drivers licenses. The Secretary of State office encourages people to make appointments on line to avoid back up on the phone lines.


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