On any given day, just over 4% of the population of the State of Illinois, 525,000 undocumented immigrants (according to a recent Chicago Sun-Times article[i]) drive to work, school, grocery stores, and so on, but without a driver’s license. Things in Illinois are about to change, however, and the Secretary of State’s new program, signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn on January 27, 2013[ii], will allow Illinois residents on their path to citizenship drive legally. Traffic stops and citations have plagued undocumented drivers for years, sometimes introducing these drivers to the criminal justice system and triggering the attention of ICE officers.
All it takes is a traffic stop for burned out license plate lights to trigger a myriad of legal troubles for hard working parents just trying to make their way in Chicagoland and feed their families and get them to school. Temporary workers and foreign students are already allowed temporary driving privileges. With the new law allowing for the issuance of a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL), undocumented immigrant drivers will be able to buy automobile insurance as well.
Republican leaders backing the bill, as a safety measure, address the issue of undocumented drivers.
Bi-Partisan support for Senate Bill 597 led to the passage of the bill that made it law in the State of Illinois that undocumented immigrants will be allowed to apply for temporary drivers licenses. Written road and vision tests are required. The temporary license is not effective as identification, to vote, to board a plane, but simply for driving only. Illinois lawmakers made many revisions to the bill over time. Many supporters stated that the need for public safety and insured drivers is good for all drivers in Illinois. “I don’t want to get hit by someone who doesn’t have insurance,” said State Comptroller, Judy Barr Topinka. “They have to get to work, they have to get to school, they have to get to daycare,” Topinka said.
Learn more by visiting the Illinois Secretary of State website with additional information.
The Illinois Secretary of State, during a 10-month period after the law was passed in January, will, according to their website, “develop procedures for implementation of the legislation, such as what documents the applicant must present and which facilities will be issuing TVDLs to undocumented immigrants.” Here is a link you can click/tap here to learn more. Further, “The goal of the office is to ensure the program is implemented in a way that improves traffic safety, underscores the importance of driver’s license integrity and security, and provides the highest level of customer service,” states the Illinois Secretary of State website.
If you or a friend may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Visitor Drivers License, you may contact the Law Offices of KiKi M. Mosley for assistance in determining what needs to be done to obtain the license. Attorney KiKi M. Mosley is licensed to practice law by the State of Illinois and Louisiana. She is skilled and experienced in complex immigration law issues. For more information about the law firm, please tap/click here to visit the rest of the website, and do not forget to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” on Twitter or Google Plus.
[ii] Chicago Tribune. Illinois illegal immigrant driver’s licenses available in 10 months. By Monique Garcia.